The postponement of the Big West Challenge Cup from Friday to Sunday did not affect UCSB track and field as the women defended their title and won the meet while the men placed second behind Long Beach State.
The women’s final tally to take the victory was 212.5 points, 40.5 points higher than second place Long Beach. The men finished with 200.5 points; the 49ers won the event with 222 points.
In the running events, the Gaucho women were victorious in both the 800-meter run and 3,000-meter run. Senior Justine Diaz won the 800 with a time of 2:09.39, while sophomore Danielle Moreno took the 3K with a time of 10:05.90. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, UCSB swept the event, led by junior Jessica Chadwick, who finished in 11:17.90.
Then, the women won seven of the eight field events to clinch the team’s second straight title.
Junior Barbara Nwaba won both the javelin throw and the high jump, setting a meet record on the latter with 1.77 meters. She also took second in the 100-meter hurdles.
Junior Irene Kujore found success too, winning the hammer throw at 53.42 meters and the shot put at 14.49 meters. Senior Tayler Williams won a pair of events, taking first in the long jump and triple jump, reaching 5.59 and 12.13 meters, respectively.
On the men’s side, UCSB featured two winners in the field events. Senior Alex Umstead won the hammer throw at 58.40 meters, while senior Michael Larocca took the high jump, leaping 2.08 meters.
However, the men found the most success in the distance running. Senior Andrew Pilavjian, freshman Shyan Vaziri and senior Ryan Martin won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the 1,500-meter run and the 800-meter run, respectively.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay team, made up of seniors Martin and Marquis Caldwell, junior Jimmy Martin and sophomore Winton Nguyen, crossed the finish line first with a time of 3:11.29, edging out UC Irvine by two-tenths of a second.
Setting a personal best was sophomore Sean Johnson. In the 100-meter hurdles, he beat his previous best time of 14.81 by running a 14.71.
The next event for the Gauchos is the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., which takes place this Thursday through Saturday. Also on Friday, UCSB will compete in the Azusa Pacific Bryan Clay Invitational.