As the track and field season comes to a close, the Gauchos continued to gear up for the conference championships by competing at the Oxy Invitational, hosted by Occidental College this past weekend, while two Gauchos competed at the Big West Multi-Event Championships.

Freshman Nick deBeaubien and senior Lauri Schakett both competed in the two-day Multi-Event Championship, both garnering ninth-place finishes, just out of scoring range for the overall team competition. Schakett’s 4,290 combined points in the heptathlon, which consists of seven events ranging from the high jump to the 100-meter hurdles, left her just 35 points away from eighth place, the last position that receives points towards next weekend’s full Big West Conference Championship. deBeaubien’s score of 6,010 in the 10- event decathlon also placed him just on the fringe of scoring position, but he did record a career- best in his first year at UCSB.

While these two athletes competed in Northridge, the bulk of the team traveled to Los Angeles for a preparation meet to stay active before next week’s all-important championships. This set the stage for those needing to qualify for conference and also offered many of the Gauchos a week off. Many of the UCSB regulars did not compete, or competed in longer or shorter distances, allowing for their legs and arms to rest.

For the throwers, Ingrid Sutherland’s toss of nearly 41 meters in the hammer throw placed her fifth in the field, while in the men’s hammer, Alex Umstead’s 46.7 meters placed him seventh. Kayla Smith and Jean Lightfoot combined for a 3-4 finish in the shot put, with throws of 13.2 and 12.9 meters.

Around the oval, the women’s 4×400 relay team ran one second under four minutes to finish in second place, squeaking out a close finish in front of Concordia University by just five-hundredths of a second.

This week’s Big West Championships are being held at Cal State Northridge, and begin on Friday with all-day competition, and ends late Saturday.KLev