SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-- This Saturday, the Gaucho men and women will head to Westmont College to kick off their 2012 outdoor season in the Gaucho Round-Up.
The first event of the meet will be the men's hammer throw which will begin at 10:45am followed by the women's 4x100m relay for the track events at 12:00pm. The meet is tenatively scheduled to end with the 4x400m relay event at 3:20pm.
Highlighting the men's side for the 2012 season will be Senior Ryan Martin who at one point held the third fastest 800m time in the NCAA at 1:45.34. Many may remember Martin's own record breaking performance at the Big West Conference Championships against UC Irvine's Charles Jock. Martin went on to compete for Team USA at the 2011 University Games. Martin earned All-American honors for the second time and is looking to improve on his personal best as his final season as a Gaucho.
Junior Mitchell Haag, Big West Conference high jump champion who won with his clearance of 6-9 will return for the 2012 season along with fifth year senior Anthony Masci who on the steeplechase at Conference with a time of 9:05.10. Senior Beidi Beer will be a force to be reckoned with in the sprints, mainly in the 100m where his wind-legal personal best time of 10.68 earned him the second fastest time in the Gaucho record books.
On the women's side, Senior Breanne Strenkowski who placed second in the 5k (16:48.87) at Conference and became the 10k Conference Champion (34:29.79) will return to the track to make an impact for the Gauchos in the distance events. Senior Justine Diaz will be looking to defend her 800m Conference Championship after winning the event with a time of 2:10.30 and qualifying for the NCAA Preliminaries.
Andrea Jacobs who placed second at Conference in the steeplechase and qualified for the NCAA preliminaries, finished her 2011 season with a personal record of 10:24.65. Junior Irene Kujore who currently sits at number 19 in the NCAA in the weight throw is also a top contendor to look out for.
Barbara Nwaba, currently in the midst of training for the pentathlon for the NCAA Indoor Championships will not be competing this weekend.
Following the meet will be a fundraising dinner at 6:00pm that will be held at the Hub in UCSB's University Center. The cost to attend the Round-Up dinner is $60 and includes dinner, cocktails and silent auction items. All funds raised from the event will benefit the UCSB track and field team through the Gaucho Fund.
The Gaucho Fund is a fund that supports all 20 of UCSB's Intercollegiate Athletics Teams. Donors can give to any sport or facility project of their choice through the Gaucho Fund. For more information, click here.