Cal Poly Wins 17 Events at Home Dual Meet vs. UC Santa Barbara

Cal Poly Wins 17 Events at Home Dual Meet vs. UC Santa Barbara

Mustangs Wrap Up Regular Season With 26 PRs Plus 14 Additional Season-Best Performances, Including Two Top 10 Marks In School History

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly track & field team won 17 events Saturday afternoon against UC Santa Barbara as the Mustangs finished the regular season with the annual Blue-Green Rivalry dual meet at home.

The meet featured a 5-3-2-1 scoring format, with two individuals apiece able to contribute points per squad event-by-event. The Gauchos won 106-95 on the women's side and 104-95 in the men's column.

Arnie Sambel entered the all-time Cal Poly Top 10 for the men's shot put, winning with a mark of 57 feet, 2 inches (tied for No. 5 in school history) on his initial attempt. As of Saturday evening, his mark — which brings him level with Cal Poly strength & conditioning assistant coach Chris White (2004) — ranks 46th in the NCAA's West Region, which would be a qualifier to advance to Kansas on May 28.

Nate Vickers also established a career best in the event, 54' 7.5", while earning second place. The juniors have now gone one-two in either the shot or discus at nine different meets over the past two seasons. Both later added season-best marks in the discus, with Sambel winning again at 173' 11" and Vickers fourth at 157' 10.25".

Jumps specialists Kendal Nielsen and Ricky Strehlow were also double-winners for the Mustangs.

Nielsen had another historic home performance in her premier event, topping the triple jump field with Cal Poly's third-leading all-time mark: 41' 8.75" on her fourth and final attempt. In bettering her 41' 4.25" from the ShareSLO Invitational on March 26, she moved to No. 22 in regional qualifying, as well as No. 43 in the national rankings.

Sophomore teammate Juliana McCuaig also had a PR: a second-place 38' 8" mark.

The Mustangs also swept the top three spots in the women's long jump, with Nielsen landing at a career-best 19' 1.5", and juniors Jessica Rasmussen and Mishe' Scott close at 19' 0.25" and a season-best 18' 9.75", respectively. Scott, an all-conference long jumper a year ago, has improved her marks at three meets in a row, having already gone from 17' 3.25" to 18' 1" earlier in the month.

Strehlow's victories also came in season-best fashion: 23' 1" for the long jump (a PR) and then 48' 9.25" in the triple.

Decathlete Ted Scranton also competed in the long jump, finishing third at 20 feet and three-quarters of an inch.

Meanwhile on the track, junior Jessica Escalante and freshman Ralaina LiDrazzah scored a pair of one-two finishes for the Mustang women in the 100 and 200, sprinting to times of 12.35 & 12.44 and then 25.23 & 25.41.

The Cal Poly men also won with teammates as the runner-ups in both the 110-meter hurdles and high jump.

Junior hurdler Kevin Staniszewski took first in 14.83 seconds, beating freshman Aidan Kirwan's season-best 15.03, while a tandem of first-year jumpers, Vince Porter and Brian Graber, cleared 6' 9.5" and 6' 4.75".

With the PR, Porter not only moved to No. 4 on the current Big West leaderboard, but also is approaching the all-time Mustang Top 10 (with 6' 10.75" as the cutoff).

Additionally, Cal Poly scored individual wins from:

- Walter Finney in the 100-meter dash • 10.71 (before also coming in second place in the 200, with another season best — 22.07 — just edging Amir Bradley's PR of 22.11)
- Liam Martinez in the 400 • 49.50 (followed by freshman Marcus Beloney in third at 49.99)
- Kiely Osby in the shot put • 44' 1.5" (before she added a third-place discus throw of 136' 6.75")
- Tomi Nord in the men's pole vault • a career-best 16 feet even
- Mallory Patino in the 400m hurdles • 1:01.59 (only nine-hundredths of a second off her PR)
- Kylie Nishisaka in the 3,000 • 10:13.69 (complemented by Rachel Bush in third with a season-fastest 10:16.88)

Finney, Joey Sanfilippo, Bradley and Strehlow also won the men's 4x100 relay with a time of 41.40, their fastest this spring.

Eight more Mustangs also tallied second-place showings:

- Both 3,000m steeplechase races: David Galvez at 9:24.71 and Maddie McDonald with a PR of 11:10.27
- Mikey Giguere in the 3,000 • a career-best 8:16.92 (ahead of Swarnjit Boyal in third at 8:27.89)
- Katie Izzo in the 1,500 • 4:25.70 (followed by fellow freshman Peyton Bilo's 4:28.82)
- Ciara Levy in the 100m hurdles • 14.51 (before she had a third-place PR in her second event, the 400H, 1:06.10)
- Chloe Carlson in the 400 • 58.31 (followed by Nikki Boggs at 58.75) • both career bests
- Megan Mooney in the javelin • 136' 6" (ahead of Escalante's mark of 111' 11.5" and Claire Pirio's 111' 10")
- Allie Sulaitis in the 800 • 2:13.50 (with seniors Erika Veidis & Sara Van Dyke rounding out the top five at 2:14.88 and a season-best 2:15.91)

The Mustangs also produced six more third-place finishes thanks to:

- Nick Bultman in the hammer throw • 174' 4.75"
- Ivy Adair in the javelin • 172' 2"
- Clayton Hutchins in the 1,500 • 3:51.17 (followed by Peter Cotsirilos in fourth at 3:52.00)
- Danielle Taylor in the high jump • 5' 6.5"
- Connor Crowe in the 800 • 1:53.50
- Hannah Chang in the pole vault • 11' 3.75"

Liesl Shirhall, LiDrazzah, Escalante and Nielsen were edged in almost a photo finish for the women's 4x100 relay, 47.64 to 47.69.

At the end of the meet, Patino, Sulaitis, Van Dyke and Boggs clocked a runner-up 4x400 relay time of 3:55.77, and Beloney, Martinez, Crowe and Finney came in second at 3:18.57.

Cal Poly will now prepare for the Big West Championships, which begin with the decathlon and heptathlon at Long Beach State on Friday and Saturday. Following the multi-event competitions, the rest of the conference finals will return to Jack Rose Track on May 13-14 (with FOX Sports Prime Ticket televising the latter day).

Photo Gallery © Owen Main / and Alexander Bohlen