Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams are traveling to San Luis Obispo this weekend for a dual meet against central coast rival Cal Poly. UCSB will compete in this last regular season meet of the year without several of their top athletes, who will be resting in preparation for conference championships.
“We’re a little bit smoked, but they are too,” Head Coach Pete Dolan said. “We’ve had a brutal stretch of schedule and our top performers need to be in prime condition for conference meets when it really matters.”
UCSB will be low on reserves, but both teams will still feature several athletes capable of coming away with big wins. Senior Amanda Rodriguez broke her own school record in the 400-meter hurdles last weekend (59.58) and senior Jenn Carey came within a second of breaking the school record in the 400-meter dash.
“We can always count on [senior thrower] Irene Kujore to keep our women’s team competitive, and Amanda and Jenn have been very successful lately,” Dolan said. “On the men’s side, we’ll be counting on our sprinters, [junior] Jordan Scott and [senior] Marquis Caldwell.”
The biggest loss for either team is probably the absence of “super-sophomore” Shyan Vaziri. At the Mt. SAC Invitational last weekend, Vaziri recorded a personal best time of 3:45.23 in the 1,500-meter run. It was merely the most recent top time in what has been a record-breaking season for the middle-distance superstar.
“We’re also hoping the initiative for the new track passes,” Dolan said. “The conditions have been suspect for a long time now, and for that to pass would really give us a shot of energy and boost in morale for this weekend.”
The “Flip the Switch for Student Recreation” initiative is currently being voted on by the student body. If the vote passes, funding would be provided to restore and renovate some of the older, more worn-out facilitates on campus, such as Pauley Track, Storke Field and Rob Gym.
“The relays are going to be important as always in crowning a winner this weekend,” Dolan said. “We’ve got the edge in a few events, but on the men’s side it will come down to the distance runs, and on the women’s side it will come down to the sprints.”
This will be the 10th annual dual meet between UCSB and Cal Poly. The Gauchos last traveled to San Luis Obispo on March 16 for the Cal Poly Invitational.
“After two big meets in a row, emotions are raw and down, and we are physically exhausted at the top,” Dolan said. “We always want to beat Cal Poly since it’s such a great rivalry, but our focus is on conference at this point.”
Competition begins at Cal Poly Saturday at 10 a.m.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.