Fourteen of UCSB’s top track and field athletes will travel to Austin, Texas, to compete in the three-day Texas Relays today. This is the first time UCSB has participated in this elite meet.
“It is a prestigious meet,” junior javelin thrower Gabe Mann said. “Only the people who have performed the best in season so far are taken.”
Santa Barbara will be represented by four throwers (juniors Amy Haapanen, Heather Quinn and Ryan Lockner and sophomore Eugene Bradley), nine runners (senior Cosette Smith, juniors Lindsay Christman, Lauren Christman and Ben Armel, sophomores Stephanie Rothstein, Tetlo Emmen, Justin Coburn and Scott McConville and freshman Mike Chavez) and one sprinter, junior Kylie McCuen.
The group of runners and throwers was chosen to participate in this meet based on how much progress they have made throughout the season and what level they have reached. Due to their skilled performances, they said they expect to do well.
“Our team can get the school record this year at Texas,” Rothstein said.
The team is enthusiastic not only to break a few school records, but also to compete in this meet for the first time.
“We are all excited to go somewhere out of state,” Haapanen said. “And especially to compete against great athletes from schools from all over the country.”
After a strong performance in the Big West Challenge Cup, the UCSB coaching staff said they feel the team has enough momentum to turn some heads at the meet.
“I am really excited because I feel that last weekend’s meet really got them ready to compete at the level with national-caliber athletes,” Assistant Coach John Dagata said. “They have been training hard all year and hopefully they will do pretty well.”
Throughout the week the rest of the team will prepare for the Fullerton Twilight, which marks the beginning of the second half of the Gaucho track and field season.