Last weekend, it was the big run. Coming up this weekend is a plethora of big games, including one that is locally dubbed the Big Game.
The 32nd Annual Santa Barbara Half-Marathon continued its appeal Saturday as the most popular running event in town. The featured 13.1-mile race had 1,277 finishers at Leadbetter Beach. The weather was kind to them. In some years, the heat can be surprisingly harsh even in early November, but this time, pre-race showers and lingering clouds kept the scenic course along the waterfront refreshingly cool.
Leading the pack, a quarter-mile ahead of the next finisher, was Santa Barbara’s ¼ber runner Aaron Gillen. He might have yelled, “Yabba-Dabba-Doo!” when he hit the line in an hour, 10 minutes, and change-he was wearing a tunic inspired by Fred Flintstone. Gillen, a 31-year-old teacher at La Puente continuation school, won several other road races during the summer and recently finished 11th in his first full marathon at Long Beach.
Annie Toth, 28, returned to racing form after a lengthy bout with injuries and won the women’s division. Only 11 guys finished ahead of her. This time, Annie’s husband, Carl Legleiter, was sidelined by injuries. The good news: He was able to watch. “I love seeing her run,” he said. “She’s so graceful.” The couple will soon part the Santa Barbara running scene, as they are completing their work on doctorates at UCSB, and Carl will take a job in the geography department at Wyoming.
Here are some sports highlights in the next few days:
SHOWDOWNS AT SBHS: Channel League championships are at stake today (Thu., Nov. 6) when Santa Barbara High hosts the Dos Pueblos Chargers in two sports: boys’ water polo at 3:15 p.m. and girls’ volleyball at 6:30 p.m. The schools split a pair of epic matches last month. The Dons defeated the DP poloists 6-5 in overtime, and the Charger girls won an emotion-charged volleyball match in four games.
THE BIG GAME: Passions run high through several generations when San Marcos and Santa Barbara High clash in football. It’s been the Big Game ever since their first meeting in 1960, with no apologies to Stanford and Cal. This year’s edition will kick off when darkness falls at 5 p.m. on Friday at Santa Barbara’s Peabody Stadium. The host Dons are vying for second place in the Channel League behind St. Bonaventure. “We want to throw the playoff race into a mess,” said San Marcos coach Dare Holdren.
THE LITTLE BIG GAME: The timing is almost right, but the distance and parking situation are not favorable, to catch both the Big Game and the 7:30 p.m. game between Bishop Diego and Carpinteria at the latter’s stadium. Carpinteria features a big-time quarterback in 6’4″, 215-pound junior R.J. Rosborough. Injuries devastated Bishop’s QB corps last Friday. When the game announcer directed spectators to look for head coach Tom Crawford‘s signature on an In-N-Out Burger ad in the game program, because the possessor would win some burgers, assistant coach Matt Capritto voiced over the message through the headphones to Crawford: “Report to the sideline, you’re the next quarterback.”
THE VICTORIOUS VAQUEROS: City College‘s football team started the season 0-4, but now the Vaqueros are 4-4 and contending for a November 22 bowl berth. They won their fourth straight last Saturday, 28-21 over West L.A. Their last regular-season home game will be at 6 p.m. on Saturday at La Playa Stadium against L.A. Valley.
UCSB HAPPENINGS: The Gaucho water polo team, ranked seventh in the nation, tries to maintain its perfect record at the Campus Pool with a pair of noon matches: Saturday against Long Beach State and Sunday against No. 2-ranked Stanford. Admission is free. The men’s basketball team, which hosts unanimous No. 1 North Carolina in two weeks, will be unveiled in a 7 p.m. exhibition game Saturday against Cal State-Dominguez Hills.
SCREEN TEST: San Marcos High grad Alex Mack, Cal’s All-Pac-10 center, is projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick. He’ll face an NFL-like defense Saturday when the Golden Bears take on USC (5pm on ABC). Mack wears number 51.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: Carpinteria’s Justin Alvarado accounted for 266 yards running, receiving, and returning punts in the Warriors’ 18-13 victory over Nordhoff. Danielle Gemberling of San Marcos won the girls’ race at the County Cross Country Championships. Also honored at this week’s Round Table luncheon were Bill Pintard (Sportsman of the Month), who managed the Santa Barbara Foresters to the National Baseball Congress championship; and Carpinteria High junior John Bustillos (Phil Womble Ethics Award) for his commitment to his school, including participation in three sports and the band (he plays at halftime in his football uniform).
Top Sporting Events: November 6-16
Thursday, November 6
High school girls tennis Channel League doubles, semis and finals, Tennis Club of Santa Barbara, 12 p.m.
High school boys water polo Dos Pueblos at Santa Barbara, 3:15 p.m.
High school girls volleyball Dos Pueblos at Santa Barbara, 6:30 p.m.; Ventura at San Marcos, 6 p.m.; Oak Park at Carpinteria, 6:30 p.m.
College women’s soccer Big West tournament semifinal: Cal Poly at UCSB, Harder Stadium, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 7
High school football San Marcos at Santa Barbara, 5 p.m.; St. Bonaventure at Dos Pueblos, San Marcos stadium, 7 p.m.; Bishop Diego at Carpinteria, 7:30 p.m.
College men’s soccer Moorpark at SBCC, La Playa Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
College women’s volleyball Long Beach State at UCSB, Thunderdome, 7 p.m.
College women’s basketball William Jessup at Westmont, 5:30 p.m.; San Mateo at SBCC (MTXE Tournament opening round), 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 8
College men’s water polo Long Beach State at UCSB, 12 p.m.
College men’s soccer UCSB at UC Davis, 11 a.m.; GSAC tournament semifinal: Westmont at Irvine Concordia, 2 p.m.
High school football (eight man) Thacher at Laguna Blanca, 2:30 p.m.; Dunn at Cate, 2:30 p.m.
College women’s basketball Cal State Maritime at Westmont, 5:30 p.m.; MTXE Tournament at SBCC, 2-10 p.m.
College football L.A. Valley at SBCC, La Playa Stadium, 6 p.m.
College men’s basketball Cal State Dominguez Hills at UCSB (exhibition), Thunderdome, 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 9
College men’s water polo Stanford at UCSB, 12 p.m.
College women’s soccer Big West tournament championship: UCSB at Long Beach State, 1 p.m.
College women’s basketball MTXE Tournament at SBCC. Championship, 6 p.m.
Monday, November 10
Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon, Harry’s Plaza Cafe, 12 p.m.
Tuesday, November 11
College women’s soccer Ventura at SBCC, La Playa Stadium, 1 p.m.
College women’s basketball (exhibition) Vanguard at UCSB, Thunderdome, 7 p.m.
College women’s volleyball Hancock at SBCC, 7 p.m.
College men’s soccer Canyons at SBCC, La Playa Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 12
College men’s soccer Big West tournament.
Thursday, November 13
College women’s volleyball Cal Poly at UCSB, Thunderdome, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 14
College men’s soccer SBCC at Hancock, Santa Maria, 3 p.m.
High school football Ventura at Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.; Buena at Dos Pueblos, San Marcos stadium, 7 p.m.; San Marcos at St. Bonaventure, Ventura Larrabee Stadium, 7 p.m.; Oak Park at Bishop Diego, La Playa Stadium, 7:30 p.m.; Carpinteria at Santa Clara, Hueneme stadium, 7:30 p.m.
College men’s basketball Cal State Los Angeles at UCSB, Thunderdome, 7 p.m.
College women’s volleyball Point Loma Nazarene at Westmont, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 15
College football SBCC at East L.A., 6 p.m.
College men’s soccer Big West tournament.
College women’s volleyball San Diego Christian at Westmont, 3 p.m.; UC Irvine at UCSB, Thunderdome, 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 16
College men’s water polo Pepperdine at UCSB, 12 p.m.
College women’s basketball San Diego at UCSB, Thunderdome, 2 p.m.