After sweeping Cal Poly in a dual meet last weekend, UCSB is preparing for the Big West Track and Field Championships in Northridge, California. This weekend features the multi-event championships, when the decathlon and heptathlon will be held.
The men’s decathlon gets underway Friday, with the first event being the 100 meters at 2 p.m. The women’s heptathlon begins shortly after that, with the 100-meter hurdles beginning at 2:30 p.m. Competition will conclude Saturday when the best multi-event athletes will be crowned conference champions.
For the men’s side, UCSB will lean on the return of senior Derek Masterson, who came back last week after getting injured at the Sam Adams Multi Invitational. With his hamstring healed, Masterson came on to win the javelin event against Cal Poly with a distance of 205-6 1/2.
Before his injury at the Sam Adams Invitational, Masterson finished second in the shot put with a throw of 14.67 meters. At 1.88 meters, he also tied for third in the high jump and, at 6.75 meters, earned third place in the long jump. Masterson finished in third place Friday before pulling out for injury.
Among other competitors, the Gauchos hope to see an impressive performance from senior Mike Powers. After Masterson went down with his injury, Powers stepped up to place third in the Sam Adams Invite with a score of 6,806. He was the top scorer for all college-affiliated athletes in the prestigious event. In addition, at the Sam Adams Invite, he finished third in both the 100-meter and 400-meters with times of 11.15 and 49.08, respectively.
Freshman Tori Usgaard will be among the hepathaletes competing for the women’s team. She has big shoes to fill after the departure of former UCSB standout and All-American Barbara Nwaba. At the Sam Adams Invite, Usgaard recorded a fifth place finish with a score of 4,740. She finished fourth in the high jump and fifth in the long jump.
Assistant Head Coach Cody Fleming is confident that his athletes will compete well this weekend as championship season kicks off.
All the athletes competing this weekend will return to action for the rest of the Big West Championships on May 10 and 11.
A version of this article appeared on page 9 of May 2nd’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo by William Zhou of the Daily Nexus.