After some impressive performances last weekend, a select group of UCSB track and field athletes will make the trek to California’s Canada when they compete in the Oregon Relays tonight and all day Saturday.
Hosted by the University of Oregon, the meet will match the Gaucho’s elite distance squad, throwers, and sprinters against the likes of the Pac-10 powerhouse and other major track and field teams across the nation. The Gaucho distance team, coming off strong performances in last week’s Mt. SAC Relays, will get the meet started when they compete under the lights tonight in the distance carnival.
Tomorrow’s portion of the meet will feature what meet organizers claim as the “high performance” section, which will include an exciting mix of relays and individual events.
“About 12 people are going to Oregon while the rest of the team basically gets a week off,” sophomore hurdler Andrew Johnston said.
Of those heading to Oregon, senior distance runner Chris Ashley looks to continue his streak of stellar performances. In his first attempt at the 10,000 meters (25 laps around the track), Ashley ran the fifth-fastest time in Gaucho history, with a time of 29:39.23, just nine seconds away from the NCAA Nationals qualifying mark.
Others looking to make an impact in the highly contested meet are distance runners Danielle Domenichelli and Bethany Nickless. Domenichelli’s looks to improve on last week’s impressive mark of 16:38.06 in the 5000m while Nickless hopes to continue her impressive string of steeplechase performances.
The Gauchos not making the trip up to Oregon will receive a much-needed week off as they rest up for next week’s dual meet when they travel just slightly North to face Big West Conference rival Cal Poly.