Of the UCSB Track and Field team’s 22 first-place finishes at the UCSB Invitational and Sam Adams Combined Events, Malia Benson’s stands out, as the junior set a new school javelin record with a throw of 50.12 meters.
“Malia stole the show with her new school record toss in the javelin in only her second meet competing in this sport,” Head Coach Cody Fleming said. “We had a great turn out. High energy. Our team had some strong performances today.”
The event was a logistical victory for the Gauchos as well, as the UCSB Invitational was rescheduled from Friday to Saturday due to rain. Fleming expressed his gratitude to all involved with the schedule change, in particular extending “a big thank you to our officials coordinator Andrew Hecker for helping us pull this off.”
The Sam Adams Combined Events kicked off the weekend on Wednesday and Thursday. Sophomore Brad Thomas took first in the Decathlon, finishing with 6814 points and personal bests in the 100-meter (11.30), 400-meter (50.25), and pole vault (3.93m). Jessica Swalve won the Heptathlon with 5130 points and new bests in the 100m Hurdles (14.65), 200-meter (25.99), and long jump (5.56m).
When it came time for the UCSB Invitational, the Gauchos kept on winning.
The women had a strong showing with first place finishes in twelve events. The track events saw Jessica Boyd take the 100-meter in 12.30, Mariana Lanz in the 800-meter with a time of 2:10.24, and Abigail Monti in the 400-meter hurdles after crossing the finish line at 1:02.55. The 5000-meter saw a top two finish from Madeline Franco (17:23.31) and Ana O’Connell (17:23.49). The Gaucho women would also win the 4x100m relay as well as the 4x400m relay.
First place finishes in field events include Katie Meade’s high jump after an attempt of 1.56m, Melodie Quiroz’s pole vault with a mark of 3.70m, and Emma Barthel’s 5.90m leap in the long jump. Amanda Spear took home two victories: discus (49.43m) and hammer throw (52.46m).
On the men’s side, Gauchos came in first in eight events. Brenden Fong led the way in the 100-meter (10.98) and 200-meter (21.90) dash while Tyler Holl held it down in the hurdle events, coming in at 14.54 in the 110-meter and 55.27 in the 400-meter. Zane Golpariani won the 3000 steeplechase after crossing at 9:10.71.
First in field events were Leon Giles in the high jump with a mark of 2.11 meters, Jared Freeman in hammer throw with a 58.18m mark, and Chase Tarr with a 60.47 meter toss in the javelin.
The Gauchos will travel to the Bay Area for their next competition, taking part in the Stanford Invitational and San Francisco State’s Mike Fanelli Track Classic, both on March 31.
Eric Boose is assistant director of athletic communications at UCSB.