While the Kentucky Derby was being run over 2,000 miles away, the UCSB track and field team was running races of their own this weekend, as action around the oval heated up when the Gauchos traveled up the coast to compete against rival Cal Poly in a Big West Conference dual meet. Both the men and women’s squads fell in the overall team competition, but once again, the Gauchos received excellent individual performances.
On the men’s side, UCSB fell to Cal Poly by a score of 121-79, while the women lost by a nearly identical score of 121-78. Last year, the Gauchos were victorious in the men’s events while falling just short in the women’s. Despite the loss of key athletes from last year’s team, both UCSB veterans and lower classmen experienced personal bests.
Senior Mike Powers continued his domination in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, taking first place in the event with a time of 9:01.43. In the women’s steeplechase, sophomore Katie Voigtlander’s time of 11:15.36 brought her a second-place finish and landed her in the Gaucho record books with the seventh fastest time in UCSB track and field history.
The Gaucho distance squad once again showed the Mustangs why UCSB was nationally ranked in cross-country early in the school year. Danielle Domenicelli continued her string of strong performances by cruising to a first-place time of 4:32.54 in the 1,500-meter, well ahead of the competition. In the men’s 3,000-meter run, the duo of Tim Aukshunas and Chris Ashley left Cal Poly in their dust, smoking the Mustangs’ third-place runner by over 30 seconds. Aukshunas ran a career best time of 8:23.14, taking first and nosing out Ashley by two-tenths of a second.
In the sprints, junior Jason Newland recorded two conference finals qualifying marks in both the 100- and 200-meter races. Freshman Sheneice Vargas also had a great run, qualifying for conference in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.42 seconds.
On tap for next weekend for the Gauchos is the Claremont Invitational and the Big West Multi-Event Championships.