Track and field will participate in two events this weekend, the Mt. SAC Relays and the Azusa Pacific Bryan Clay Invitational, after a successful meet last weekend at the Big West Challenge Cup.
At the Big West Challenge, the women’s team placed first while the men’s team took second, losing only to Long Beach State.
“The women’s team got first, which we were happy about,” junior distance runner Megan Petkovic said. “It’s always good to compete against teams from our conference, so we can see where we’re at. The boys got second, so they’re hungrier now.”
Two Gauchos received conference honors due to great showings at the meet. Senior middle distance runner Ryan Martin won Big West Male Track Athlete of the Week for his performance in the 800-meter run. On the women’s side, senior hurdles and heptathlon runner Barbara Nwaba was named Big West Female Field Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week after winning the javelin and high jump. She also came in second in the 100-meter hurdles.
“I’m really happy,” Nwaba said. “I had a [personal record] in the hurdles, so I was happy that was acknowledged.”
The 54th annual Mt. SAC Relays take place Thursday through Saturday. The event is primarily for distance runners and includes high school, collegiate and pro athletes.
“The Mt. SAC relays is a big distance carnival,” Petkovic said. “It brings in a lot of collegiate teams and also it brings in a lot of professional runners, which is exciting. It’s a fun event because there are so many talented athletes out there.”
Athletes running in the 1500-meter run include Petkovic, senior middle distance runner Cassie Brooker and junior middle distance runner Tyler Brady. Senior middle distance runner Andrea Jacobs and senior distance runner Anthony Masci will compete in the steeplechase and finally, UCSB has four athletes running the 800-meter run: senior middle distance runner Justine Diaz, Martin, freshman middle distance runner Shyan Vaziri and senior middle distance runner Rusty Parker.
The Azusa Pacific meet, a one-day event taking place today, which includes both track and field events, brings in teams from all over the country to compete.
“This will be my first time going to the Azusa Pacific meet,” Nwaba said. “Most of the sprint side and jumpers are going. It’s a big meet and there are lots of heats.”
The Azusa Pacific meet will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cougar Athletic Stadium.