Santa Barbara, Calif. - With the Big West Conference Championship Meet just over two 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 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. The scoring format will follow a 5-3-2-1 point scheme, with two athletes per team scoring per event. Relays will be scored 5-3.
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 along with lot 27 by the Thunderdome. A map of the UCSB Campus will be provided here for more information. Weekend parking will be priced at $4.00.
Gauchos to Watch
Junior Callan Cochran made his return to the 100m last Friday with a 10.84 (+0.4 m/s) clocking after sitting out since February with a hamstring injury, and will look to further shave down some time on home territory this Saturday, with some opposition coming from Chineme Allison who owns a 100m best of 10.77. Callan is also scheduled to run the 200m as well.
The men's 800m will include the current conference leader from Cal Poly, Bobby Pointer, and two time conference scorer Connor Crowe, who was fifth at the conference meet last year. Redshirt junior James Douglass has shown up for the 800m squad as the de facto leader as of recent thanks to his 1:53.61 clocking at the Bryan Clay Invitational, but he could find some extra help with weekend with sophomore Alex Barr dropping down in distance after setting a personal best 3:50.54 clocking in the 1500m last Saturday.
With Barr set to compete in the 800m, junior Isaiah Lozano will take the reigns for the 1500m thanks to his 3:53.89 season best that he set at Bryan Clay. The Mustangs 1500m squad will be in full force with Anthony Benitez, Alex Merder, and Elias Opsahl all on the starting list, each of them having run between 3:50 and 3:52 this season. There could be a surprise in the likes of freshman Jimmy Chahal who has been lowering his 1500m with each passing meet this season, culminating in a 3:56.39 personal best he set last Saturday at Bryan Clay.
Tyler Nelson will be focusing on just the 110m hurdles after his full decathlon from last week, during which he clocked a new best of 14.51. His main opposition will come from fellow decathlete from Cal Poly Bikram Thiara, who owns a 14.79 best.
Following the one event scheme, sophomore Sam Pica will be scheduled for just the long jump after a decathlon personal best from last week of 7093 points. With a 7.07m best, it could be close with Cal Poly's Kevin Fernandez who has jumped 7.00m this season.
Sophomore George Harris garnered his personal best of the season in the shot put at Bryan Clay with a 15.91m throw. It could easily come down to the last throw this weekend however as Cal Poly's Nick Betchart is just one centimeter ahead with his best at 15.92m.
The 3000m steeplechase will have Chloe Cox taking on Cal Poly's Delaney Fitzsimmons. Cox has been putting up personal bests left and right this season with her most recent one coming from Bryan Clay where she achieved a conference qualifying mark of 4:38.24 for 1500m. She'll need that speed if she wishes to pull away from Fitzsimmons who owns a steeplechase best of 10:47.49.
The women's 400m will have a guest appearance from heptathlon conference leader Hope Bender, who in her four years as a Gaucho has yet to run a 400m that wasn't a relay leg. Fresh off a personal best 200m of 24.03 as well as a 2:11.37 800m from her heptathlon at Bryan Clay, the senior should be able to clock something quick in the right conditions. She'll also be scheduled to run the 100m hurdles prior.
The women's 800m will include Cal Poly's Natalie Grohmann and Mikaela Romanini whom are ranked sixth and seventh in the conference thanks to their respective 2:11.11 and 2:11.18 clockings from Bryan Clay. With Maddie Meade boasting a 2:12.96 best and Bronwyn Bunnell not too far behind, it could come down to the final meters if everyone races on point.
The women's 1500m will be headlined by Katie Camarena who just set a personal best clocking of 4:25.71 last Friday at Bryan Clay, that time coming after a 2:11.27 800m clocking earlier on in the day at the same meet. Seeded ahead of her are Cal Poly's Katie Izzo and Miranda Daschian, both of whom have clocked 4:27.09 and 4:25.01 back in late March. With both Izzo and Daschian coming off new personal bests at 5000m last week in the 16:20s, Camarena will need to hang on as best she can if she wants the win at home.
Junior Tori Palma comes into the meet as a strong first seed in the shot put with her 14.12m personal best throw from earlier this season, so she's predicted to take that event with ease. She'll also be competing in the discus and hammer for maximum team points on the day.
Senior Cassidy Peng will continue her three event routine with the pole vault, long jump, and triple scheduled this weekend for her. She's seeded to take the win in the long jump, but she'll have a tall order to face in the other events as she'll have to take on 2018 pole vault conference champion Brooke Tjerrild and 2018 triple jump conference champion Abibat Rahman-Davies, both of whom currently hold conference leading marks in their respective events.