This weekend, the UCSB track and field team will once again head down to Irvine to compete in the Big West Challenge Cup. In attendance will be Long Beach State, UC Riverside and the host, UC Irvine.

Both teams are off to strong seasons so far as the men’s team has only had one meet in which they did not finish on top. The women’s team has already made a name for itself as well by taking a couple first place finishes and staying in the top 10 of all its meets.

“The boy’s team should have a good showing if everyone performs as they should,” sophomore Tori Usgaard said. “I would expect the boys to win, and if not, to be very close.”

The men’s team will be looking to tag on another first place outing with its track athletes leading the way. With junior Shyan Vaziri returning to the team after competing individually in the Stanford Classic, the Gauchos will hope for another outstanding day from this runner. The two-time Big West Track Athlete of the Week holds the fourth place best time in nation in the 1500m this year.

Alongside Vaziri will be a nominee for last week’s Track Athlete of the Week Award, freshman Jackson Bright. In last weeks meet, Bright took gold in the 10000m event with a tremendous push on the final stretch of the race.

The women’s squad will be looking to improve on its already strong performances that it has turned in this season.

“The girls are such a young team right now, and we are growing so much as a team that the goal is doing the best we can for that day and doing the best we can to get better,” Usgaard said.

Usgaard will show off her talents this weekend and search for another great performance in the heptathlon. She has had huge impacts on her team’s performance in this season’s events while also breaking some of her personal records along the way. This young athlete will surely be leader in the weekend’s events.

Another bright young star for this Gauchos squad is sophomore Maxine Goyette. This double-sport athlete has made her presence known with her performance in the Cal Nevada Championships, where she finished second overall in the 3000m steeplechase. This ranking made her a nominee for Big West Track athlete of the week.

The events are set to start tomorrow at 2 p.m. down in Irvine.


This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of The Daily Nexus.

Photo by Mark Brocher of The Daily Nexus.