The UCSB track and field teams were well-represented this past weekend with 12 athletes going to Austin, Texas for the NCAA West Regionals.
During the three-day competition, the Gauchos saw seniors Jenn Carey and Amanda Rodriguez advance to quarterfinals, with Carey advancing further to nationals next month.
“Regionals is always an experience for every athlete who goes,” junior Danielle Moreno said. “Although a few athletes were just shy of their ‘A’ game, I still think we had a respectable showing. It’s always fun competing against the best no matter what the outcome.”
Carey was the only Gaucho to advance to nationals with her time of 52.72 seconds in the 400-meter dash. “Watching our own Jenn Carey kill it in both of her races was one of the coolest things this weekend,” Moreno said. “As she ran her leg in the 4×400, the announcer nicknamed her the blue dot, and she broke the school record.”
With a 400-meter hurdle time of 58.58 seconds, Rodriguez finished third in her heat and advanced to quarterfinals. In the next round, she placed fifth with a 1:00.44 finish.
Senior Irene Kujore participated in the hammer throw and discus throw. She threw a career-best 57.38 meters in the hammer throw, but fouled on two of three attempts. In discus, she placed fifth with her best throw of 47.98 meters.
Moreno’s 10k mark of 35:22.48 placed her in 14th, just eight seconds back from a top-12 finish which would have advanced her to quarterfinals.
“It was a bittersweet moment,” Moreno said. “I knew that if I was confident in every move I made I would put myself into position to make something happen. Unfortunately, I came up a few seconds short.”
On the men’s side, junior Sean Johnson finished in seventh in his 110-meter hurdles heat with a mark of 14.71 seconds.
Senior Mitchell Haag placed 17th in the men’s high jump after clearing 2.12 meters, while fellow senior Juan Paredes finished in 30th place in the 1500-meter with a time of 3:51.06. Junior Jordan Scott ran a 47.67 400-meter sprint and finished in 37th place overall.
“It was nothing but an exciting and humbling experience,” Moreno said. “The underclassmen who went are all coming back with experience that will only make them stronger next year, and I’m proud of all the seniors. They should do nothing but look back on their careers here and be proud about how they have grown as athletes and individuals.”
Nationals will be held in Eugene, Oregon from June 5-8.
A version of this article appeared on page 6 of May 28, 2013’s print edition of The Daily Nexus.