Like most things in Fresno, the Cal-Nevada Championships has become a lackluster spectacle, but the UCSB track and field team will be heading there this weekend to fine-tune its skills.
The championships, held on Friday and Saturday, has seen a decline in the level of competition over the years of its existence, and this year is no exception.
“It’s not a really hyped-up meet,” junior middle-distance runner Tetlo Emmen said. “It’s sandwiched in between two big meets.”
The meet takes place one weekend after the Mt. San Antonio College (SAC) Invitational and one weekend before the Cardinal Invitational in Stanford.
Emmen, who recently won the 800-meter run in Walnut, Calif. during the Mt. SAC Invitational, won’t even be competing in his signature event. Instead, he will be running in the 400-meter dash to improve on specific aspects of his running.
“Guys who normally run the 5,000 are running the 1,500, those who run the 1,500 are running the 800, and the 800 guys are running the 400,” sophomore distance runner Micah Tyhurst said. “It’s kind of a rest weekend without really resting, really just mixing it up.”
Like Emmen, Tyhurst will be competing in an off event, running the 1,500 instead of the 5,000 that he is used to running.
“I need that 1,500 speed to carry over into the 5,000,” Tyhurst said. “It’s something we can practice and try and improve our races with.”
The level of competition has declined in recent years, with powerhouse track schools like UCLA and Stanford no longer making appearances at the Cal-Nevada Championships. Still, Santa Barbara will face some conference foes in the form of Cal Poly and Fullerton.
“It’s not even going to be as big as last year,” Tyhurst said. “But Cal Poly will still be there and we’ll be able to push off them. We’ll see some pretty good conference action.”