With the regular season winding down and the NCAA West Preliminary Championship in sight, the Big West Challenge Cup had major implications for the UCSB track and field team Friday. The Gauchos’ efforts were not enough, however, to stop a veteran Long Beach State squad from dominating the meet, finishing in first for the men and women.
The UCSB men finished second with 181 points, falling to Long Beach’s 222. The UCSB women ended in third place with 178 points, behind CSUF’s 181 and the 49ers’ 187.5. On the men’s side, the Gauchos skid to 8-1 on the year in dual meet scoring with three more meets remaining in conference play. The women’s team moves to 5-4 on the season in scored meets.
Held in Titan Stadium at Cal State Fullerton, competition was in full swing as UCSB was led by the arm of senior javelin thrower Thomas Gore-Schreck and senior discus thrower Heather Hawes.
Senior Albert Hughes set the tone in the first meet of the day with the hammer. Hughes finished second in the competition with a score of 196’6, falling behind Long Beach State’s Kody Robison, who won the match reeling in a score of 205’6.
Gore-Schreck also led the way for the Gauchos in the javelin, recording a career-high 234’3, the best all-time in UCSB history. Schreck’s throw broke Dustin Emter’s previous school record of 225’2, which was held intact for 15 years.
The two-time Big West Field Athlete of the Week has been red hot in his last couple of meets, improving his career-high each time. Schreck leads the Big West with his historic throw and now moves to tenth place in the NCAA.
The UCSB women’s team struggled to contain Long Beach State as well, trading the lead for the majority of the meet. The Gauchos showed a lot of fight as they swept all of the distance events and kept the game within a five-point margin heading into the 4 x 400 event, but could not make up the difference.
Hawes made her presence known in the discus event, taking first place with her throw of 155’3. Junior Lara Lewis carried the load for UCSB, scoring 19 points individually for her team. The junior took fourth place in the javelin throw with a score of 119’1. Lewis also placed second in the shot put with a throw of 42’4.75 and second in the discus with a personal best 147’9.
UCSB’s next meet will be at the Mt. SAC Relays this Wednesday and the Bryan Clay Invitational Friday. Both events will be held at Azusa Pacific. The select number of decathletes will begin action from Wednesday through Thursday for the Mt. SAC Relays while the rest will compete in the Bryan Clay.