Cal State Northridge swept the men’s and women’s Big West Track and Field Championships this weekend while UCSB narrowly missed first place in each, taking second behind the Matadors in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
The Gaucho men scored a school-record 162.5 points, but meet-host Northridge’s 165 points earned the victory. UCSB’s women’s squad fell short of first place by eight points, trailing Northridge’s 174 points with a 166-point total.
Senior thrower Amy Haapanen started the day strong for UCSB by winning the women’s shot put with a personal-best 15.93m. Later in the day, Haapanen took the hammer throw crown with a conference-record 62.88m, a full six feet ahead of second-place contender Raquel Sola of Northridge. Haapanen finished the championships by posting her second UCSB record on the day, a 52.11m throw in the discus which was good for second place.
Junior thrower Jeff Stewart lead the Gauchos to a 1-2 finish in the men’s shot put, tossing a mark of 17.23m as sophomore thrower Tim Delmundo nipped at Stewart’s heels with a throw of 17.05m.
Senior distance runner Mike Chavez led the men’s squad with three podium appearances, winning the 3,000m steeplechase, placing second in the 5,000m and third in the 1,500m. Senior middle distance runner Tetlo Emmen won the gold medal in the men’s 800m with a time of 1:48.92, qualifying Emmen for an NCAA Regional bid.
“The 5k really got me going,” senior distance runner J.D. Krawczyk said. “We needed points because Northridge was so far ahead of us. The 5k wasn’t as strategic as the 10k, but I knew with two laps left to go that I had out-kicked [my closest opponent].”
Santa Barbara finished 1-2 in the men’s 5,000m, as Krawczyk grabbed first place with a time of 14:37.52 while Chavez’s 14:38.63 placed him in second. UCSB’s men scored 23 points in the contest to pull within three points of first-place Northridge.
“Chavez is our workhorse,” Krawczyk said. “He’s been doing 120-mile weeks. That guy’s the man. But Tetlo is crazy. He took off with 150 meters left to go [in the 800m]. I told [Emmen] I’d buy him dinner if he won by over a second, so I ended up buying him dinner the next night.”
Senior distance runner Stephanie Rothstein led Santa Barbara to 1-2-3 finish in the women’s 5,000m with a time of 16:42.50. Megan Lewis earned the second spot with a mark of 17:04.76 while Bethany Nickless rounded out the top three with a time of 17:11.73.
Santa Barbara will be sending 20 athletes to the NCAA West Regionals in Eugene, Ore. on May 25-26.