Year after year, every UCSB athlete circles one date on their calendars: their team’s match up against central coast rival Cal Poly. The track team members are no different, except in this case, they are out for something more. This Saturday, the Santa Barbara track team is out for revenge.
Last year’s Mustang victory left a bitter taste in the mouth of all of UCSB’s track athletes. However, after a consistent season and outstanding showings from several Gauchos, the team is both confident and fully capable of beating the Cal Poly.
“Now that we’re on our home turf, we’re going to bring the heat,” sophomore pole vaulter Jennifer Brown said.
Brown developed into one of UCSB’s most consistent pole vaulters last season as a freshman and is no stranger to success. Unfortunately, her sophomore campaign has been plagued by injuries, but now she is fully healed and ready to gun for the win in this year’s duel.
The Gauchos will need Brown and all their pole vaulters to do well in order to beat the very formidable Mustangs, who are the favored team on paper. On the flip side, UCSB expects wins from redshirt freshman middle distance runner Ryan Martin, sophomore hurdler Barbara Nwaba, junior distance runner Scott Smith and junior distance runner Katie Voigtlander. All of these athletes qualified for Regionals and are in the top eight respectively in Santa Barbara’s all-time records list.
Voigtlander just recently qualified for Regionals in the steeplechase and desires a win to benefit overall team points.
“I’m going for the win for our team,” Voigtlander said. “[I’m] not too worried about time.”
Though the final team outcome will likely come down to the wire, UCSB remains confident and looks to send Cal Poly home with a loss and some humiliation to add insult to injury.
“We’re gonna send those ponies home with their tails between their legs,” Brown said.