TRK: UCSB’s Guijarro speeds to double victory

RIVERSIDE – The UC Santa Barbara men recorded dual meet wins against Cal Poly and host UC Riverside on Saturday. The UCSB women recorded three overall event wins but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Mustangs and Highlanders in dual meet action. The men recorded eight wins on the day including four 1-2 finishes. With the wins, the Gaucho men run their dual meet record to 6-0 on the season. The UCSB women took their first losses of the year and now sit at 4-2 overall.

Men’s Team Scores

UCSB 104, UC Riverside 74
UCSB 99, Cal Poly 78

Women’s Team Scores

UC Riverside 97, UCSB 76
Cal Poly 94, UCSB 84

Men’s Recap

Once again the UCSB men showed their depth by making up for several athletes not in attendance due to finals starting back on campus. Those not in a foreign language or science lab loaded the bus bright and early, many competing in off events to make up the difference.

The Gauchos rose to the occasion.

Jordan Scott stepped down to the 200m, a race he rarely contests and took the win with a new lifetime best in 21.54. Scott not only helped the Gauchos close any chances of the Mustangs catching up team wise, he broke into the UCSB all-time list in the event at #6.

Senior Oscar Pearson, jumping on his “off-foot” due to an injury earlier this season, captured a valuable second place in the long jump at 22’6.25. Pearson’s scrappy performance resonated throughout the squad as others followed suit.

Greg Dotson took the 800m wire to wire, winning in 1:51.69. Dotson recorded the third fastest collegiate 800m of his career in a blistering heat with highs reaching 93 in the afternoon. Teammate Andrew Farkas finished second in the 800m, shooting off the final curve and passing two runners to move up from fourth. Farkas was rewarded with a new lifetime best of 1:52.30 for his effort.

Bryan Guijarro took wins in the 1,500m and in the 3,000m to extend his winning streak to six on the season. Guijarro paced the field in the 1,500m and in school yard fashion dared anyone to catch him as he dropped the hammer on the final lap. Two other Gauchos took the bait and all three scrambled over the final lap, sweeping the top-three places. Guijarro led the charge with a new lifetime best of 3:49.06, Bryce Rausa took second in 3:49.37 and Anthony Ortolan in third with a new best of 3:49.39- all fine times for early March.

Guijarro braved the heat in the 3,000m to battle a top heavy field of spectacular Big West harriers. Taking the lead at the half-way point, Guijarro picked up the pace and effectively split the field of 13. Those brave enough to follow his lead were rewarded with a blistering finishing kick as the junior from Lancaster just about matched the outside temperature with each stride on the final lap. Sprinting to the line, Guijarro won in 8:30.50 but the real race was for second. Ortolan must have been taking notes during the men’s 800m as he came from fourth and in near identical fashion, raced his way to second at the tape. Ortolan reported in at 8:30.95.

In the men’s 400m, Rufus Wollo dropped a new lifetime best of 48.47 to score the first dual meet points of his young career. Senior Karlon Johnson also showed fine form, firing off a 48.49 one lap effort which was just .02 off his lifetime best set back in 2012. Coming off knee surgery after getting tangled in a 4 x 400m relay, Johnson looks to be regaining the form he used to become a Big West 400m finalist.

The Gauchos took the long relay for the third straight meet this season, winning in 3:13.59.

Humberto Garcia equaled his lifetime best in the 400m hurdles at 54.02 to take second overall and secure key points for the Gauchos. Garcia closed well over the final 100m and showed why he is a Big West scoring threat as he powered over the barriers.

Albert Hughes won the hammer with a throw of 198’7. Adjusting to a new four turn technique, Hughes seems to be finding his form as his throw was just inside a foot of his lifetime best. He doubled back in to place second in the discus with a throw of 160’11.

Thomas Gore-Schreck recorded the third win of his season in the javelin, this time with a throw of 206’11. Schreck led a contingent of four Gauchos who finished in the top-five in the event. Spencer Neste equalled his personal best of 177’10 to place third. Zach Tombol placed fourth win a throw of 174’9 and Jerrick Zhang placed fifth with a throw of 168’11.

In other notes…Stephen Leach blasted a huge lifetime best in the hammer throw of 176’7 to take a surprise second in a talented field of hammer men. Leach came back and threw 146’7 to up his discus best later in the afternoon…Freshman Deion Dayao threw over 50 feet in the shot put for the first time in his career, finishing with 50’2.5 to place third overall…Freshman Grant Bush jumped 45’0.25 in the triple jump to lead the Gauchos.

Women’s Recap

For the Gaucho women, the loss of several Big West placers who were back on campus busy taking finals, made the difference as they lost in both duals. Despite being shorthanded, there were plenty of highlights for the Gaucho women on the day.

Dani Moreno engaged in one of the most exciting races of the day in the women’s 3,000m as she battled UCR’s Raquel Hefflin. With temperatures at day time highs, volunteers held out water cups on the back stretch for the runners. Moreno didn’t seem to notice as she was locked in on Hefflin, perhaps the most dangerous runner in the conference at the moment. Moreno tucked in behind Hefflin most of the way and tried to close the gap on the final sprint but came up short to finish in second at 10:10.50. The two will be fun to watch later this season as Moreno steps up distances to the 5,000m and 10,000m and Hefflin steps down to the 800m and 1,500m.

In the women’s 800m, Rebekah Ent delivered another solid performance to place second in 2:13.38. Ent outsprinted four Mustangs to take the second scoring spot, missing first by just over a second. Ent, a red-shirt freshman for the Gauchos doubled back in the 4 x 400m relay and delivered a fine split to help the Gauchos win in 3:51.45, their third straight this season in the event.

Hallie Brauner took second in the 400m hurdles with a time of 62.62. This was the third fastest time of Brauner’s career in an event she is fourth all-time in UCSB history in. Brauner was also a key member of the 4 x 400m relay squad.

Sophomore Betsy Armitage took third in the 400m with a time of 56.84.

Jessica Emde led the way in the field events with her fourth straight win of the year in the high jump. Emde cleared 5’5.25 before bowing out at a higher height. Emde does not have a miss at a bar under 5’7 on the year.

Lara Lewis took the first javelin win of her career, throwing 131’1 and showing her growth in an event which she is just starting to compete in.

Valerie Nestor and Kayla O’Brine each recorded personal bests in the hammer with throws of 160’9 and 159’11 respectively. O’Brine also placed third in the discus with a mark of 136’7.

In other notes…Ashley Alama threw 141’10 in the discus to place second overall. Alama also threw a lifetime best of 39’11.5 to lead the Gauchos in the shot put…Freshman Kayla Thayer threw 130’7 in the discus, 38’3.5 in the shot put and 131’4 in the hammer…The Freshman duo of Brittney Johnson and Audrianna Holloway recorded 100m times of 12.45 and 12.49 respectively.

The Gauchos will next send their multi-event specialists to Westmont for the Jim Klein Heptathlon and Decathlon before returning to UCR with the full squad for the Spring Break Classic on March 28th.