Ten thousand meters, 25 laps, a field of 38 runners… these are the factors that senior distance runner Chris Ashley faced entering this weekend’s Mt. SAC Relays. The result was the fifth-fastest time in school history at UCSB.
Ashley’s time of 29:39.23 places him fifth on the all-time Gaucho record books for the event, while giving him an equally impressive fifth-place finish against world-class competition.
Other members of the distance team that traveled to Mt. San Antonio College for the meet that boasts the motto, “Where the world’s best athletes compete,” followed Ashley’s feat with impressive performances themselves. Junior Danielle Domenichelli took seventh place with a time of 16:38.06 in the 5000-meter run, and senior Tim Aukshunas posted a 30:20.21 time behind his fellow Gaucho in the 10,000m.
Following the races this past Thursday, the Gauchos met up with the rest of the team at the Azusa Pacific Invitational. Around the oval and in the field the UCSB track team shined.
“Our mindset is really on the Oregon meet next week, so [the Azusa Pacific Invitational] was a good warm-up for next week,” junior hurdler Elmer Guzman said. “This meet was a really a tune-up, but we still got great races, like Jason [Newland] running a 22-second 200 meter.”
Thrower Michael Guerra recorded a season-best 185’03” in the javelin throw, a mark that brought home a first-place finish for the Gauchos. In the women’s shot-put, sophomore Jean Lightfoot produced a conference championship qualifying mark, while taking second place in her flight, with a throw of 142’7″. In the hurdles, sophomore Andrew Johnston’s time of 15.56 in the 110m hurdles placed him second in his section and junior Guzman’s time of 55.01 in the 400m hurdles also gave him a second place finish in his section.
On tap next week for the Gauchos is both the Oregon Relays, in Eugene, Ore. While those not making the trek north will compete in the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego.