Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara Track and Field will split their efforts across California this weekend between competing at the UCLA Legends Invitational and Stanford Invitational, serving as a good opportunity to look for more conference and regional qualifying marks before they square off against fellow conference adversaries at the Big West Challenge Cup next week at home.
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The Stanford contingent on the men's side will consist of senior Kordell Hampton and sophomore Chase Tarr, both of whom are current Big West Conference leaders in their respective events. Kordell comes off a decent series of throws from the Aztec Invite with three marks past 54 meters in the discus, but the recently dubbed, "Diesel," will be looking for much more as he continues his final season in the Gaucho uniform. Tarr returned to action with the second farthest throw of his career at Aztec in the javelin at 62.60m after sitting out the previous two meets with injury, so his track record may gain more positive marks as he embarks to face off against high level competition up north.
Redshirt freshman Brian Schulz will be taking on his first 10000m on the track during the distance carnival portion of the Legends Invite Friday night. He's already put up a conference leading 14:30.22 5000m mark on March 9th and just hit 3:52.99 for 1500m last week, so he's in good form possibly hit something quick with a few pacemakers planned to be in attendance.
Senior Tyler Nelson will be honing in on just the 110m hurdles this weekend after setting a new personal best score of 7336 points in the decathlon at the Westmont Classic. En route to his decathlon victory last week he already set a new best in the hurdles at 14.53, so not having another nine events waiting in the wake may give him just enough ease of mind to surpass that mark on Saturday.
Freshman Graham Michiels continues to impress in the high jump after setting another personal best last week in 2.03m. His brother Peter also hit 2.03m in the middle of his decathlon at the Westmont Classic, but with Peter opting for different events at UCLA Graham may aim to surge ahead without him if the opportunity presents itself.
Redshirt sophomore Astrid Rosvall and junior Katie Camarena will be holding it down for the distance crew this weekend up at Stanford. Astrid is coming off a strong double last week where she ran 2:10.89 and 2:07.89 on back to back days in the 800m, her latter time moving her up to No. 5 on the UCSB All-Time List for that event. She had to deal with some extra hurdles in the form of fallen competitors in the last 100m of her 2:07 clocking, so she hopes to stay out of trouble this weekend as she aims for a higher spot on the All-Time list once again. Camarena posted up a solid two day double of her own with a 4:32.68 1500m and 2:13.87 800m, slowly rounding into form as the season progresses. Her second fastest 1500m of her career and her current personal best in the 800m were set at last year's UCLA meet so the slight upgrade in competition at Stanford may net her a solid 1500m clocking.
Junior Josephine Graeber will be returning to the long jump after taking on her first ever heptathlon at the Westmont Classic last week where she scored 4817 points, good enough for No. 5 on the UCSB All-Time List. She's already jumped 5.90m (+1.5 m/s) and 5.93 (+2.3 m/s) this season so she'll look to hone in once again on the six meter mark come Saturday.
Senior Cassidy Peng will be in the pole vault and long jump after improving to No. 6 All-Time at Aztec in the triple jump with a mark of 12.05m (+0.0). She also hit 3.72m for the vault that same day so she may look to move up in height with her current momentum.
Freshman Chloe Kimes will be in the 400m hurdles at UCLA after hitting another personal best of 1:03.05 at Aztec last week. She has set a personal best three meets in a row for that event so far.
Freshman Kendall Martin threw past 40m again for the second meet in a row in javelin with 40.47m at the Aztec Invite. She's gone through quite the change in consistency as her score card gains throws farther and farther down the infield with each passing meet.
Lastly, Senior Hope Bender will begin her outdoor season after taking some time off from her stunning indoor track and field campaign where she set an unofficial indoor school record in the women's pentathlon with 4262 points en route to First Team All-American status at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships where she took sixth place. She'll be competing in the 200m as well at the 100m hurdles.