The UCSB track and field team took advantage of its last chance to send more athletes to next weekend’s Big West Championship. On Saturday, the Gauchos competed in the Oxy Invitational at Occidental College, setting new personal records and posting high marks.

“It was a solid meet. It was a tuneup for some, others took advantage of their last opportunity,” Assistant Head Coach Jeff Jacobs said.

Santa Barbara sent a small squad of team members but still managed big results. Freshman Ashlee Drady qualified in the 800 meter with a time of 2:15.97, one second under the qualifying time and a new personal best. Sophomore Ben Berkowitz shaved 10 seconds off his previous time to qualify in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Berkowitz set a big personal record with a time of 9:33.35, well under the qualifying time of 9:40.00. Sophomore Tetlo Emmen set a personal record in the 400 meter with a time of 48.30, winning his heat and qualifying for the 400 at the championships. Emmen previously qualified for the 800.

“Emmen qualified, but won’t be running the 400 at Big West. We were working on his speed. He runs in the 4 x 400 [meter] relay, so that was good practice,” Jacobs said.

Freshman Devon Tracy helped the women’s team by taking third in the high jump with a solid mark of 5’6″. Freshman Christie Farson set a personal best in the 1,500 meter with a time of 4:49.61, just missing the qualifying time.

Freshman Mike Chavez gained some practice in the 800 running 1:53.77, a time just off his best. In the pole vault, senior Mark Martello posted an impressive mark with 15-11 3/4. Junior Ryan Lockner also gave a solid performance in the shot put, posting 51’10”.

“Those with the best chances took advantage and qualified. We hoped to add [freshman] Ashley Coelho in the 400 [meter] hurdles, but she was just off,” Jacobs said. “Overall the performances were pretty good.”

On Friday, the team will compete in the Big West Championship, an event they have been working toward and looking forward to all season.