The UCSB track and field teams will take the divide-and-conquer approach this weekend as it splits up to compete in two separate meets.
The majority of the track and field teams will head to San Luis Obispo to compete in the Five-Way Meet on Saturday. A smaller and faster team likely to consist of five individuals will head farther north to Palo Alto for the notoriously fast Cardinal Invitational held at Stanford University on Sunday.
“It’s a good opportunity to run fast,” junior middle distance runner Tetlo Emmen said. “There’s going to be a lot of fast people there, and [the Cardinal Invitational] is set up to be very fast and very competitive.”
Emmen, who took first at the Mount San Antonio College Invitational on April 17 in the 800-meter Olympic development run, will be joined by his fellow middle distance runner, senior Ben Armel, who won the 800 at the Cal-Nevada Championships last weekend. The women’s side will likely send junior middle distance runner Lauren Christman, a UCSB record holder in the 1,500, her twin sister and fellow middle distance runner Lindsay Christman and junior distance runner Cosette Smith.
All of the likely competitors have already qualified for the upcoming conference and NCAA Regional Championships and are looking at the race as an opportunity to improve on their times, but that doesn’t dampen the excitement of running in an event like the Cardinal Invitational.
“It’s really just a chance to run fast,” Emmen said. “I’m really confident and really excited. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that me and [Armel] are really excited.”
The five competitors will be with the team when the others compete in San Luis Obispo, but will continue their drive up to Palo Alto after Saturday’s events.
“We’re going to be there to watch and cheer,” Emmen said.
For both groups of the UCSB track and field teams, the weekend’s meets will be a good chance to fine-tune their skills before the Big West Championships take place on May 11.