The Gauchos’ track and field team is ready for a big weekend this Friday and Saturday at the Bruin Legends invitational held in Los Angeles.
The UCSB squad is coming off a terrific showing in last weekend’s Aztec Invitational at San Diego State which featured some great individual performances, including a couple records being broken.
“We had a lot of big PR’s and break-throughs for a lot of our athletes [last week], and of course the two school records were exciting to see go down. A lot of good distance races [as well],” Assistant Coach Peter Van Beurden said.
The first record was broken by senior javelin thrower Melissa Rake, who broke her own school record from last year.
“[She’s] definitely much further up than she was [at this point] in the season last year… It’s cool to see her throw so well, especially middle of the season,” Van Beurden said.
Myles McDonald, who broke the other record at the SDSU meet, is also in very impressive mid-season form. He was entered in both the open and invitational races of the 400m hurdles last weekend, ending up setting a personal record in the open section and then coming back with an even better performance the next day to put himself at the top of the UCSB All-Time List for the event.
“Got that 37 year old school record… so that was awesome,” Van Beurden said.
Another runner that had a big day in San Diego was redshirt sophomore Patrick Burke, who had a 10 second PR in the 1500 while running by himself.
“That definitely got the guys really riled up, especially for this weekend at UCLA,” Van Beurden said.
The UCSB team will look to carry their newly-gained momentum into this weekend as they head for new territory.
“This is the first year [we’re] doing this meet… at least for the distance carnival, so it’s going to be kind of a new experience for us – especially the distance runners,” Van Beurden said. “It’s a great track [though], so we should have a lot of PRs.”
Partially as a result of the world-class track and field facilities at UCLA, the invitational is going to attract some high level opposition.
“A lot of D1 programs are coming, including UCLA which has a pretty good track program so definitely [going to be some] good competition,” Van Beurden said.
One thing to look for this weekend is the 1 mile run, which Gaucho seniors Shyan Vaziri and Thomas Poston will be entered in for the first time this season.
“They’re putting all the elite 1500 guys into a full mile, so it’ll be pretty exciting to see guys dip on their fours and break some school records,” Van Beurden said.
The distance carnival section of the weekend will be on Friday only, starting at 2:30pm. The invitational section will take place on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday for the invitational, field events will start at 12:00pm and track events will begin at 4:00pm. On Saturday for the invitational, field events will start at 10:00am and track events will follow at 12:00pm.