This weekend, the UCSB track and field team will take its talents to UC San Diego to compete in the Cal-Nevada Championships, an event including several schools in California and Nevada.
The men’s team looks to defend its undefeated start at 4-0. The women’s team will look to add another win to its strong start in which it has two wins and a second place title in their last four meets.
This weekend will prove to be a true test for the men’s squad, which has finished first in every meet so far. This competition will include more teams than the Gauchos have faced all season and some strong competitors such as USC, UNLV and most Big West schools.
To stay perfect, they will look again to Sophomore Ike Okapara. Okapara logged his best ever decathlon score just last week with an astounding 6254 points. He set new PR’s in four events to place fifth in the competition and ultimately help the team earn its fourth victory.
Santa Barbara will also need another great weekend from Junior Shyan Vaziri, who had stellar running performances in the past weeks. This year, he has scored his personal bests in the 1500m, the 300m and the mile. His 1500m and 800m times this year both rank second out of all of the runners participating in this weekend’s events.
On the women’s side, the Gauchos will look from another big performance from their heptathlon competitor, sophomore Tori Usgaard. Her best performance this year came from Santa Barbara’s last meet, where she scored 4773 points. This outing ranks fourth out of the athletes that are competing in Cal-Nevada Championship.
Along with Usgaard, another sophomore that will have to show her strength is Melissa Rake. As of now, Rake is third on UCSB’s all-time list in the javelin with her incredible 144’3” toss. These two Gauchos will pave the way for this competition.
Events are set to start tomorrow down in San Diego with the Men’s Hammer coming first at noon. All field events will be one round.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.