Santa Barbara, Calif- The UCSB Track and Field squads will be heading to UC Irvine for the 2014 Big West Challenge Cup, held at Anteater Stadium on Friday, April 11. The Big West Challenge Cup is an annual competition held between UCSB, Long Beach St., UC Irvine and Cal St. Fullerton. Last season the Gaucho women took home top honors with a narrow 187.5-180 victory over Long Beach St. while the men took second behind Long Beach St. 213.5-183.
The Gauchos will be completing a three meet span of scored meets going back to the UC Riverside Springbreak Invite and last weekend's Cal-Nevada Championships.
How it's Scored:
10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 with only two athletes per team counted in team scoring.
The competition will get underway this Friday at 2PM with the women's hammer throw. All field events will start with the women's section followed by the men.
The running events will start at 6PM with the women's 3,000m steeplechase.
Big West Challenge Field Event Preview
2PM: Women's Hammer
Hanna Person will look to continue her success in the women's hammer. Person has a season best throw of 167'11 which she uncorked at the UC Riverside Springbreak Invite. Kathleen Guzman brings in a best of 155'1 set also at UC Riverside.
Men's Hammer to Follow
Albert Hughes will compete in the hammer and discus, looking to improve upon his hammer PR of 191'2 set one week ago in San Diego. Hughes also hit a mark of 163'5 in the discus at the Cal-Nevada Champs.
3PM: Women's Javelin
In the women's javelin Melissa Rake will look to continue her success after the 144'3 spear she unleashed at the UC Riverside Springbreak Invite.
Men's Javelin to Follow
The Gaucho men will compete five javelin throwers, four who currently sit in the top 7 of the Big West Conference list. Led by freshman Jerrick Zhang, the group includes freshman Matthew Kuskey, Zach Tombol, Darion Williams and junior, Spencer Neste.
4PM: Women's Pole Vault
Katie Lee will compete in the women's pole vault and is on a roll as of late. Having cleared 11'9.75, Lee is just outside the Big West top-10.
4PM: Women's Long Jump
Tori Usgaard will compete in the long and high jump as well as the 100m hurdles. The multi-event specialist has a season best of 18'7.25 in the long jump.
Men's Long Jump to Follow
Oscar Pearson will compete in the men's long and triple jumps. Pearson has been a consistent placer for the Gauchos this spring and is looking to improve his season bests of 22'10 and 45'7 respectively. Also competing will be decathletes Ike Okpara and Brendan Weaver.
4:30PM: Women's High Jump
Jessica Emde will be competing in the women's high jump after setting a new personal best leap of 5'8 one week ago. Emde took third at the Cal Nevada Championships and continues to climb up the UCSB All-Time list. Also jumping will be Tori Usgaard who has a PR of 5'5.75.
6:30PM: Women's Discus
In the women's discus the group of Heather Hawes, Kathleen Guzman, Ashley Alama and Hanna Person will be in action. Hawes has a season's best of 148'1 while Guzman has a lifetime best throw of 147'9, set last season. Alama has a best of 138'6 and Person, 136'8.
Big West Challenge Running Event Preview
6PM: Women's 3,000m Steeplechase
Starting the meet at 6PM, Maxine Goyette will be toeing the line in the women's 3,000m steeplechase. Goyette broke out last week with a 10:47.93 at the Cal-Nevada Championships. Joining Goyette will be freshman Brooke Evans and Kelsey O'Connell
6:15PM: Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
In the men's steeplechase, a trio of Austin Goodheart, Geroge Baier and Adam Avila will take on the barriers. Goodheart is fresh off winning his 1500m heat at Cal-Nevada's while Avila has been revving back up after his 9:18.76 steeple debut at UC Riverside. Baier has clipped off a 1:55 800m already this season.
6:50PM: Men's 1500m
In what could be the event of the meet, a talented group of Gaucho harriers will take the line looking to push a fast race. Led by senior Tyler Brady, other Gauchos in the field will be Bryce Rausa, Andrew Verdin, Brad Littooy and Tommy Poston. Rausa will be steeping back into the 1500m groove after opening 2014 with a 9:10.12 steeple effort one week ago. Brady hit a season best last weekend at the Stanford Invite clipping a 3:48.06, the second best Big West time of the season. Verdin has been enjoying a breakout freshman season having already ran 3:52.45 in the 1500m. Keep an eye on Littooy who has a season best of 3:56.67.
7PM: Women's 100m Hurdles
Sophomores Shannon Trumbull and Tori Usgaard will take on a talented field which includes several of the top hurdlers in the Big West Conference. Trumbull has a 13.99w season best while Usgaard has ran 14.55 over the 33" barriers.
7:05PM: Men's 110 High Hurdles
Sean Johnson will take on a talented Big West Field in the men's high hurdles. Johnson has a lifetime best of 14.28 set at last years Big West Championship. He will be joined by freshman Darion Williams and Brendan Weaver. Weaver ran 15.20 earlier this season while Williams has a 15.55 season best.
7:15PM: Men's 400m
What should be another hot event for the Gauchos, four men will take the blocks for the 400m contest Friday evening, under the lights of Anteater Stadium. Winton Nguyen, Eric Severiano, Karlon Johnson and Myles McDonald will lead the Gauchos in the one lap sprint. Nguyen was last years 5th place Big West finisher with his lifetime best of 47.85. Severiano has a lifetime best of 48.26 set last season and has already eclipsed the 49 second mark on three occasions this season. Karlon Johnson is quickly regaining his 2012 form after missing 2013 due to an ACL injury. He has a lifetime best fo 48.47 and has already ran 49.07 this spring.
7:25PM: Men's 100m
Anytime senior Evan Walker steps foot on a track there is an electric feel in the air as the Gaucho sprinter holds a lifetime best of 10.58 in the 100m and has already ran 10.55 with an aided wind this spring. Joining Walker will be Michael Aiken, Lee Duncan and Gavin Koehn. Lee Dunacan is a talented sprinter out of Loyola High School and has a lifetime best of 10.79.
7:40PM: Men's 800m
The Gauchos will unload a posse of 800m men all looking to improve their season best times this Friday in what could be a FAST race. Shyan Vaziri, Greg Dotson, Wyatt Anderson, Andrew Verdin, Paul Mohr and Jack Morgenson are all entered. So far this spring, 7 Gauchos have hit 1:55 or faster in the 800m. Vaziri hit 56 seconds in his last lap last weekend at the Stanford Invite, a few clicks away from what a typical 800m goes out in.
7:50PM: Women's 400m Hurdles
Keep an eye on freshman standout Hallie Brauner who has a season best of 62.19. Brauner sits in the 6th spot on the Big West list and looks to break under 62 seconds in the one lap race over hurdles.
8:10PM: Women's 200m
Racing for the Gauchos will be Jessica Johnson, Betsy Armitage, Kaitlin Large and Kayla Campbell. Johnson has already ran 55.34 in the 400m this spring and is sitting 5th in the Big West list. Armitage, a 400m specialist will be stepping down for the half-lap sprint.
8:35PM: Men's 3000m
In the field will be Brian Guijarro, Jackson Bright, Abel Mogesse, Patrick Bourke, Bryce Rausa, Tyler Brady and Tommy Poston. Anytime Guijarro is on the track the rest of the field will have a certain uneasy feeling in their stomach as the harrier has the range to compete in the 800m all the way up to the 10,000m and has a finishing kick to backup the blistering tempos he can sustain.