While most of the UCSB track and field team rests this week in preparation for the Big West Championships next weekend, four members will head to UC Irvine for the Big West Multi Championship while others will participate at the Occidental Invitational.
The Big West Multi Championships, taking place today and Saturday, mark the start of the Big West Championships, but only participants of the heptathlon and decathlon will compete.
Representing UCSB are junior Barbara Nwaba, junior Derek Masterson, senior Josh Codding, and senior Mikael Powers.
Nwaba, the sole woman competing for the Gauchos, enters the meet on a roll. She was named Big West Athlete of the Week for the third consecutive week for her triple victories last weekend at the Cal Poly dual meet in the javelin, high jump and 100-meter hurdles.
“Barbara’s amazing,” senior Ryan Martin said. “She’s one of the key factors for the women’s team and one of the best
athletes UCSB’s every produced. She’s on fire right now, to say the least.”
While Nwaba expects to win the meet, she also hopes to break records in the process.
“I want the [personal record], but I’m really trying to break the meet record,” Nwaba said. “[For the] heptathlon, 5856 is the conference record. I specifically want to score 6000 or above.”
The three UCSB men are also expected to place and bring the men’s team some extra points entering next week’s championships.
“Especially for the guys side, [this meet is] huge because two guys are actually [ranked] one and two,” Martin said. “The third guy’s looking to get top five and could get third with a good race. [These are] key events to win because we can get a lot of points.”
The Occidental Invitational, taking place Saturday, is functioning as an extra meet for the Gauchos, for any runners who need the extra event to sharpen up.
“Occidental is a last chance and tune up event before conference championships,” Nwaba said. “[Our team can] only take 32 people on each [the men’s and women’s] side to championships, so this event is for people looking to make a spot or tune up their events.”
Events at the Big West Multi Championships begin today at 2 p.m. The Occidental Invitational kicks off at 11 a.m. tomorrow.