Sacramento, Calif. - The chronicles of senior Hope Bender continue in Sacramento as she was able to once again qualify for the NCAA Division 1 National Track and Field Championships by placing eleventh in the long jump this past Friday at the NCAA West Regional Meet hosted by Sacramento State. With newfound faith in her horizontal jumping prowess as of late, she would leap off the board to a 6.13m (20' 1.5") jump in the second round with a +1.0 m/s tailwind, making it the fourth meet in the past month that she's flown past six meters.
"I'm most proud of the confidence and consistency that Hope has displayed this season," remarked Interim Head Track and Field Coach Gray Horn. "It's obvious that she does not doubt her ability to get the job done during big moments. Austin, Texas is going to be one for the books!"
In addition to the long jump, Hope was also to make it all the way to the quarterfinals in the 100m hurdles thanks to getting the final time qualifier in the preliminary rounds on Thursday with a 13.39 (+2.9 m/s) clocking. A less than ideal start from the blocks on Saturday would only net her a 13.76 (+2.0 m/s) in the quarterfinals, but it was a successful weekend nonetheless as Hope looks forward to nationals in Austin.
Junior Katie Camarena was able to experience the West Regional qualifying process for the first time in the 1500m heats on Thursday, taking ninth in her heat with a time of 4:27.12, the fourth fastest clocking in her career as a Gaucho. Coming into the meet as the 43rd seed, she'd best her expected placing by finishing 34th out of a total 48 competitors on the day.
Senior Kordell Hampton would close out his extensive career at UCSB finishing 31st overall (sixth in his flight) in the men's discus with a 52.91m (173' 7") throw. Making this the third year in a row he'd qualified for the regional meet, he'd hurl the disc out the furthest in his first attempt, making no improvements over the cutthroat three attempt series. He'd best his ranking of 33rd coming into the meet by two spots.
With the conclusion of both the West and East Regional Qualifiers, Hope Bender will reunite with her multi event compatriot Tyler Nelson as they both prepare for the NCAA Division 1 Track and Field Championships taking place in less than two weeks time.