Santa Barbara, Calif. - With the Big West Conference Championship Meet less than two and a half weeks away, The UC Santa Barbara Track and Field team will take on their final regular season meeting this Saturday at the annual dual meet against conference rivals Cal Poly on their home track. The event will serve as the first ever track and field meet to be held on the newly renovated Pauley Track facility as well as the first home meet to be hosted on the UCSB campus since the 2010 Gaucho Round-Up. With a rivalry that roots all the way back to the early 2000s, it is only fitting for the first meet to host an event as exciting and historical as that between the Santa Barbara and Cal Poly track and field programs. The dual meet will begin at 10 a.m. with the women's hammer throw, while track events will start at 12:30 p.m. with the women's steeplechase. The meet is set to conclude around 3:30 p.m. with the men's 4x400m relay.
Going into this meet, the women will be looking to take the team title for a third time after winning the past two editions of this meet, while the men will be aiming for revenge after taking second the last two times they squared off with Cal Poly at the dual. The last time the Gauchos took on the Mustangs was back in early March at the Tri Meet that also included UC Riverside; The Santa Barbara men were able to take home the team title handily while the women were just a single point off beating the Mustangs on that occasion, so expect the battle for points to well contested on both sides come Saturday.
Hospitality, Track Team Social, Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
There will be a hospitality area that will be provided for those who attend the meet, but you must rsvp at the link provided here. Beverages and appetizers will be provided and anyone under 21 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Hospitality will start at 12 p.m.
There will also be a track team social at the High Sierra Bar and Grill as well as the UC Santa Barbara Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Lobero Theatre occurring after the meet. Tickets sales for those events can be found here and here. This year's induction ceremony will include 2012 UCSB Track and Field Alumni and 2016 US Olympian Barbara Nwaba for all her athletic accomplishments at UCSB and on the world stage.
Admission and Parking
Admission for spectating the meet will be free of charge. The closest parking structure to the track will be lot 30 across from the Lacrosse Field and Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. More parking is available at lot 18 across from the Recreational Center. A map of the UCSB Campus will be provided here for more information. Weekend parking will be priced at $4.00.
Gauchos to Watch
SR Sike Azu-Irondi will be one to look for in the men's 100 and 200. Sike has been posting consistent marks in the 10-mid and 21-low second range, and just recently hit a wind-aided 20.96 at the Bryan Clay Invitational.
FR Jarett Chinn will be covering the 800 meters aftering setting a new personal best of 1:50.10 last week to garner the No. 8 spot on the UCSB all-time list.
SR Patrick Bourke has the 1500m and 3000m double covered once again. With three 3:47 1500m clockings this season and an undefeated streak in the 3000m, the senior is in a prime position to do well in both events.
SR Myles McDonald will be taking on the 400m hurdles after a season's best time of 51.74 set last week. He will also play a key role in the 4x400m relay for last minute points as the meet draws to a close.
SR Jeff Lam is coming off a personal best in the decathlon as well as a huge mark in the high jump where he leaped up to 2.07m (6' 9 1/2").
JR Kordell Hampton is scheduled to cover three events this meet in the shot put, discus, and hammer throw. Kordell just recently set another school record in the discus with a throw of 57.06m (187' 2") at the Beach Invitational last Saturday. Along with personal bests in the shot put and hammer throw as well this month, he'll be integral to the team scoring going into the meet.
JR Hope Bender may come off with a bit more energy this week as she is scheduled to run only the flat 100m at the dual. This will be quite the change from the stellar heptathlon she did last week where she put up a score of 5725 points, good enough for No. 10 in all of NCAA Division 1 and No. 2 on the UCSB all-time list behind Barbara Nwaba (during which she tied Nwaba's 100m hurdles school record of 13.59).
SR Jenna Hinkle will be looking for team points in the 800m as well as the 3000m this weekend after two weeks of back to back 1500m/mile races. Her 800m best of 2:07.76 dates all the way back to May of 2017, so she has a solid chance of breaking that in front of the home crowd.
SO Katie Camarena comes into this meet fresh off two personal bests in the steeplechase and the 1500m, both of which snuck her onto the all-time lists (No. 8 at 10:43.25 and No. 10 at 4:26.11). This time around she will be focusing just on the 1500m with JR Miranda Ross looking to try and secure some points in that event as well.
Newly minted long jump school record holder SR Kiely Gode (6.16m/20' 2 ½") is back on double duty this time around with the long jump and hammer throw scheduled for her. She may find herself in good company in the long jump after JR Cassidy Peng produced a monstrous personal best of 5.89m (19' 4") at the Bryan Clay Invitational.
Lastly, multi throws specialist SR Kayla Thayer will once again be covering the shot put, discus, and hammer throw for maximum point advantage.
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