The UCSB track and field team made a trip up north to California’s hat this past weekend to compete in the Oregon Relays. Just a portion of the team made the trip, but those who did recorded quality performances and even a couple of personal bests.
World class athletes and Division I powerhouses descended upon the Eugene, Ore., track, putting out fast times, powerful throws and intense competition for the Gauchos, who were not intimidated by the high-caliber performances.
Senior distance runner Michael Powers cranked out an all-time best in the steeplechase, while junior jumper Jane Doolittle leaped a lifetime best in the high jump. The steeplechase consists of a 3,000-meter run around a track with varying obstacles scattered along the way. The immobile hurdles and water hazard that litter the event proved to be no problem for Powers, as he recorded a career best time of 9:02.26, ranking seventh on the Gauchos’ all-time list.
Doolittle also showed little fatigue while posting a lifetime best. Her career best leap of 5’8.75″ not only gave her a first-place finish, but also landed her the third-best jump in UCSB history. The feat also qualifies Doolittle for the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time in her UCSB career.
Other impressive performances on the day included a first-place finish by hurler Matt Barkley, whose effort of 53’11.00 in the shot-put was six inches longer than that of his nearest competitor. On the women’s throw squad, sophomore hammer thrower Jean Lightfoot recorded a second-place finish in her section by way of a 149’01” toss.
The Gauchos will continue the action around the oval this week as they travel to San Luis Obispo to face rival Cal Poly in a Big West Conference dual meet.