TRK: Gaucho men, Mustang women triumph at Blue-Green meet

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Men’s Scores: UCSB 107, Cal Poly 96
Women’s Scores: Cal Poly 108.5, UCSB 89.5

On a beautiful sunny day at Westmont College, the UCSB track and field teams split with the Cal Poly Mustangs. The UCSB men took a convincing win by winning nine individual events to go with a sweep in the relays. The UCSB women won seven events including the 4 x 400m relay but it wasn’t enough as the Mustangs pulled away late in the afternoon for the win.

With the win, the UCSB men complete the regular season with a 9-1 dual meet record. They also claimed the UC Riverside Spring Classic Invitational with a strong team showing.

The UCSB women end with an even 5-5 dual meet record.

This was the first loss for the Gaucho women in the Blue-Green Rivalry since 2009, breaking a string of five consecutive victories.

For the Gaucho men, this win makes it five straight over their Central Coast rivals dating back to 2011.

UCSB senior Dani Moreno ran a personal best in the 3,000m, taking the win in 9:41.70. Shaving nearly 15 seconds off her previous best, Moreno moves to #2 All-Time in UCSB history behind school record holder and current Assistant Coach, Amanda Moreno. Cal Poly’s talented runner Molly Haar challenged early, forcing Moreno to take the race over with two laps to go. Haar finished in 9:46.84, a six second personal best for her.

Oscar Pearson triple jumped into the UCSB history books last season at the Big West meet but due to illegal wind, his mark wouldn’t count. The senior had a year to make amends, and he couldn’t have picked a better time. Trailing in the triple jump in the final round, Pearson lit into a lifetime best effort of 47’10, to best Cal Poly’s spectacular jumper Ricky Strehlow by 9cm. Pearson set a new lifetime best and now has the #7 spot in school history in the event.

His day actually started well before the triple.

Just as the mid-day events were getting underway, Pearson launched off the long jump runway to a distance of 23’11. A new personal best early in the competition, before anyone had realized what had happened Pearson took the event win and moved to #8 in UCSB history.

Three UCSB Gauchos have occupied the tenth spot on the UCSB All-Time list in the 1500m this season. Bryan Guijarro took it over at the UCSB Spring Classic with a 3:48.87 only to see teammate Tommy Poston take it over after his 3:48.75 performance at the Bryan Clay Invite. This time it was Bryce Rausa who took command after a convincing 1500m victory against Cal Poly’s superstar, Nick Woolf. Rausa’s time of 3:48.69 is now the latest in a bizarre exchange of lucky #10.

After going out in a tight pack, Rausa kicked like a race horse at the Derby.

Dropping the hammer with 200m to go, he showed the strength of a senior and the poise of a seasoned racer. Rausa has likely secured an NCAA bid in the 3000m Steeplechase and will meet Woolf in two weeks for what will be one of the most anticipated Big West steeple’s in recent memory.

The UCSB men and women took the top-two spots in the javelin competitions. Thomas Gore-Schreck continued his blistering senior season with a 224’3 shot out to the right sector. Gore-Schreck put together another fine field series en route to the win, also throwing 219’10.

Three months removed from a nasty bout of pneumonia which sapped him of over 30 lbs., Matthew Kuskey made his mark in the javelin with a huge 205’11 personal best, taking second for the Gauchos. Kuskey came down on his first attempt, keeping the javelin tight through his cross-overs, striking clean with a high elbow on the release. Not knowing the feel yet of a good throw, Kuskey nonchalantly walked off the runway and it wasn’t until the measurement was called before he cracked a well earned and long overdue smile.

Five UCSB men threw over 52m (170 ft.). Spencer Neste had a best of 184’3, Jerrick Zhang threw 180’9 and Jeff Oechsli had a best of 172. Eight different men on the roster have marks over 164 ft. (50m) on the season.

Women’s Big West Conference leader, Melissa Rake took the win for the Gauchos with a 145’5 effort. Looking calm and poised on each of her attempts, Rake showed the demeanor that earned her the Big West silver one year ago. Teammate Lara Lewis placed second with a throw of 118’11, earning valuable 1-2 points for the Gauchos.

Decathlete Darion Williams and redshirt freshman Myles McDonald earned hurdle wins in the 110m and 400m varieties respectively. Williams went out aggressively, battling for the lead all the way to the tape. He found it with a 14.91 personal best.

McDonald took control of the race from the first curve and never relinquished it, taking the win in a new personal best time of 53.14.

Tommy Poston did something no one has done all season in the 1500m or 3000m, take down Bryan Guijarro. A 1500m man by trade, Poston stuck with the pack before absolutely dropping the hammer and daring anyone to go with him. Guijarro responded in full chase but Poston held him off, showing a new flavor of strength to go with his signature speed. Poston broke tape in 8:28.18 to Guijarro’s 8:30.01.

The UCSB men took the top-six spots in the 800m led by senior Greg Dotson’s 1:52.03 win. Dotson, back in uniform after a brief injury hiatus showed why he is always one to look for by out-sprinting the field to the tape. Andrew Farkas was second with a nice 1:52.06 effort. Connor Rafferty was third in 1:53.82, Pierce Miller was fourth with a 1:54.11 performance, Paul Mohr was fifth with a 1:55.50 and Edixon Puglisi was sixth in 1:55.79.

Albert Hughes delivered another strong performance in the hammer. Winning the event with a throw of 198’9, Hughes picked up his twelfth collegiate win in the event and third straight in the Blue-Green rivalry. This was the seventh time in his career he has recorded a meet over 60m (196’11 ft.)

Stephen Leach took an important second for the Gauchos in the hammer with a solid 173’10 performance. Freshman Jeremy Franklin threw 170’11 for third. Denley Rodriguez hit a big personal best with a mark of 161’9 and Austin Sahs completed the grouping over 160 with a best of 160’9.

Hanna Person won the women’s hammer with a mark of 167’5.

Freshman Kayla O’Brine placed second in the hammer with a mark of 160’0.25.

In the women’s discus, the Gauchos took the top-three places led by Heather Hawes who won with a throw of 148’7. Ashley Alama was second with a mark of 145’11 and O’Brine hit a mark of 139’7 for third. Kayla Thayer, a freshman from Redding, Calif., threw a personal best of 133’4.

In the shot put the Gauchos took 2-6 also led by Hawes who had a best of 42’3. Valerie Nestor threw a personal best of 41’8, Lewis hit a mark of 41’5 and Alama went 40’4. Thayer was sixth with a throw of 39’11.

Jessica Emde placed second in the high jump with a jump of 5’7. Cal Poly’s Danielle Bryan took the win with a mark of 5’8.75. This was the seventh meet over 1.70m (5’7) for Emde this season. This was the first loss for Emde in the Blue-Green rivalry. She won the dual in both 2013 and 2014.

Clint Gallivan placed second in the men’s pole vault with a leap of 15’7. This was 1cm shy of Gallivan’s best set two weeks ago in Azusa.

Decathlete Billy Britt stepped up and scored valuable points for the Gauchos with a PR leap of 14’1.25.

On the women’s side, Brroke Pestano took the win with a leap of 11’6.

Rebekah Ent, running in only her fourth 1500m, placed second in a time of 4:33.44. Ent also placed second in the 800m with a time of 2:14.11. Ent, a redshirt sophomore ran a terrific double and will be a name to watch out for in future 1500m result columns.