Following a strong start to the season two weeks ago in the Gaucho Round-Up, the UCSB men’s and women’s track and field teams will head south this Saturday for the All-UC Championships at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA.
The Gauchos will be matched up against talented CCAA host UC San Diego as well as a fellow Big West team in UC Irvine.
The Gaucho men will have a tough opponent in this UCSD men’s squad, a team that is coming off a CCAA Outdoor Conference Championship performance last year in which they were able to win five individual event titles.
The Triton women will also be difficult to beat, as they are looking to build off a third place finish at last year’s CCAA Championships.
The UC Irvine men have a stacked team themselves, including NCAA qualifying and UCI record-holding hurdler Lloyd Sicard with a personal best time of 13.60 in the 110HH.
The women’s side for the Anteaters will feature 2015 Big West Pole Vault runner-up Ariel Chang, claiming a personal best jump of 12’10.75.
Santa Barbara will look to continue its momentum from a dominant performance in the season’s first meet, a convincing win over Westmont and Pepperdine two weeks ago.
“It’s looking good,” Assistant Coach Peter Van Beurden said. “We had a lot of strong early season marks and we have a good freshman class that we recruited so I think the guys will be just as strong as last year and the girls are looking solid too.”
The Gauchos will look to use their experience in a talented distance group, including seniors Anthony Ortolan and Shyan Vaziri, to lead them to victory in the men’s 3,ooom this weekend as well as event wins all season.
“We have a big upperclassmen presence this year [in distance],” Van Beurden said. “We should see a lot of marks go down, including [for] some school record holders.”
Coach Van Beurden also looks to a strong group of Gaucho throwers this year to post some strong performances, especially after a great opening in the first meet of the season from junior Matthew Kuskey and freshman Nemo Howe on the men’s side. Kuskey and Howe opened the year with throws of 195’11 and 194’0, respectively.
On the women’s side, UCSB senior Melissa Rake will look to improve upon her school record throw of 154’1 in the javelin.
“I think javelin for the men and women is going to be good [this year]” Van Beurden said.
Overall the Gauchos are amped up and ready to roll this Saturday in their second showing of this season and their first matchup against a Big West opponent.
“UCSD is a beautiful track facility,” Van Beurden said. “[The team is] excited to put their uniforms on for the first time against some athletes in our conference and other Division I level athletes that we’ve competed against [in the past].”
The meet this weekend will be held at Triton Track and Field Stadium in La Jolla this Saturday, with the field events beginning at 1pm and the track events starting up shortly after at 1:30pm.
The competition will be scored in international dual meet format. 7-5-4-3-2-1.