The UCSB men’s and women’s track team will be competing in the Big West Championships today and throughout this week at Long Beach State University.

The first event today at noon will be the 100-meter dash, followed by the long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meters during the course of the day. The heptathlon events will start at 12:30 and will include the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters.

Last season the men surprised the pack with a strong showing, garnering a fifth-place finish. The women’s squad hauled in at 10th place, but figure to improve drastically with many strong performers all across the board.

Sophomore Amber Newsome will be in the first heat of the 100-meter-dash preliminaries. Junior Kesha Wood will be in the third heat. Wood and Newsome will also compete in the 200 meters, along with freshman Jasmine Washington.

Sophomore Jasmeen Smith and senior Ali Pearson will compete in the 800 meters. Freshman Cosette Smith, senior Jessica Lunt and sophomore Katie Appenrodt will try to advance past the 1,500 meters. Smith, Lunt, Appenrodt and junior Lisa Dunn will try their luck in the 5,000 meters.

Other competitors include freshmen Vanessa Hernandez, Julia Gray, Gilleon Smith, Faith Reyes and Lindsay Wells. The sophomores are Liz Mallon, Deb Samson and Jenny Myzskowski. Junior Annita Reuben is expected to compete in 11 events. The seniors are Alanna Deely, Elizabeth Foster, Mary Kailihiwa and Jen Gardner

Senior Damien Dawson will compete in the 200-meter dash along with sophomore Zach Ring who will also compete in the 100-meter dash. Freshman Nohel Corral will try to get a solid time in the 400 meters along with senior Kgosi Chuenyane and junior Andrew Ostarello.

Much of the Gauchos’ hopes for success will rest on the shoulders of junior Josh Horton in the 5,000 meters, along with sophomores Brandon von Guenthner, David Monico and junior Aaron Sharp and freshmen JT Service and Chris White.

Other competitors include seniors Kent Roberts, Joey Tosta, Baruti Armstrong, Matt Besmer; juniors Scott Sellman, Paul Anderson, Octavious Gillespie, Adrian Dilley, Kevin Howard and Patrick Turner; sophomores Bryon Lamorandier and Kevin Weaver; and freshmen Preston Biller and Jesse Barich.

– Nexus Staff Report