Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara Men's and Women's Track and Field squads will meet UC Riverside this Saturday for their third straight dual meet showdown against the Highlanders. The competition will be this Saturday, March 15th at UC Riverside's Track and Field Stadium. The schedule has been pushed back 90 minutes from the original start time due to warm weather concerns so the women's hammer and women's long jump will kick the action off at 1:30pm. The running events are slated to go off at 3:30pm.
The Gaucho men are coming off a win at the All-UC Championship. Led by a surge of men's harriers, UCSB swept the distance events from the 800m through the 3,000m steeplechase. The UCSB women's squad took second last week at the All-UC meet and saw wins from Jessica Emde (HJ), Hanna Person (hammer), Maxine Goyette (3k Steeple), Shannon Trumbull (110mH) and Hallie Brauner (400mh).
Spectator Info: Ticket prices – Adult ($5) / Seniors (ages 65+), Faculty/Staff, Alumni Association, Military, Youth (ages 4-17), College Student w/ ID ($3) / UCR Undergrad w/ ID, Ages 3 & below (Free)
How it's Done
The collegiate dual meet is making a comeback. The purity and essence of track and field is highlighted in that only two from each team score. 5-3-2-1. Relays are 5-3. The focus is on the one-on-one competitive battles. Dual meets make for an exciting spectator experience as each event is important in the final scoring. Teams from the Big West Conference are industry leaders in scored meets as they often go head to head. On top of UC Riverside, the Gauchos have an annual dual with Cal Poly to close out the regular season before the Big West Championships begin.
ENTER: Andrew Verdin
Before last weekend only a few people knew of Andrew Verdin. A red-shirt freshman from Loyola High School, Verdin has quickly established himself as a Big West caliber perfomer after the double he dropped last weekend at the All-UC. Verdin ran a 3:53.27 1500m and followed with a 1:55.83 800m.
Hurdlers Rally Women's Squad
Sophomore Shannon Trumbull (100mH) and Freshman Hallie Brauner (400mh) each won their respective hurdle events at the All-UC and in doing so sent a message to the rest of their team. Brauner, a former high school basketball player, running in only her second 400m hurdle race, clocked a 62.19 to take the win in San Diego- a mark good for 9th all time in UCSB history. Shannon Trumbull took .16 off her wind-legal PR to take the 100m hurdles in 14.31.
Waiting to Breakthrough
Bailey Miller, a Big West scorer in the 10,000m one year ago, ran a lifetime best in the 1500m at the All-UC. Miller looks poised to have another breakthrough as she starts to step up in the distance events. Sophomore, Melissa Rake has opened her 2014 campaign with a first and second finish in the javelin. Last weekend she had a personal best mark of 127'1.
In 2011 Tyler Brady punched a ticket to the NCAA West Regional Championships in the 1500m after running 3:47.58 in the Big West final. Last weekend he opened with a 3:49.74 in the 1500m and doubled back in the 800m with a 1:53.53, half a second off his lifetime best. Brady's smooth form in his finishing kick resembles the wheel of a stationary bike spinning at red-line. Look for him to challenge the lead pack each time he lines up to toe the line.
Coach Dolan's Take
"There were many exciting events at last weekend's All-UC meet. This weekend, I see us finding our identity as a team and dual meets are the best place for a team to come together. After last week we are starting to see the core we can count on. Who's going to join that core? Who's joining the elite? You don't get an invitation into this group you just go out and make yourself known. When the team is looking at you in a dual meet, you have to step up. This weekend it's just us vs. the Highlanders. "