Santa Barbara, Calif- The UCSB Track program will head back to UC Riverside for the UCR Spring Break Classic Invitational. The meet will feature a combined events portion, which will be the first opportunity for the Gaucho decathletes and heptathletes to display their diverse athletic skill. The combined events will run Thursday and Friday, March 27 and 28, starting with the decathlon at 11am and heptathlon at 12pm both days.
The main portion of the meet will begin on Friday with the women's hammer at 3pm with the men to follow. The hammer throw will be the only non-multi event contested even Friday.
The bulk of the field events will start Saturday, March 29 at 10am with the track events starting at 12:50pm.
The Gauchos will take a full crew of multi event athletes on Thursday for the heptathlon and decathlon. Sophomore Ike Okpara will lead a freshman group looking to compete in their first decathlon. Okpara showed he is in good form with a high jump PR of 6'6 two weeks ago in the Riverside Dual meet. So far this season he has hit new personal bests in the javelin, discus, 110HH and long jump. The talented group of freshman include Darion Williams, a transfer from CAL as well as Brendan Weaver, Jeff Oechsli and Santa Barbara local Gavin Koehn. The women will be led by sophomore standout Tori Usgaard. Usgaard was last years 4th place finisher at the Big West Championships in the heptathlon and has picked up 2014 where she left off last spring. Usgaard has already fired off long jump and 100m hurdle PR's to go along with a new shot put PR. Joing her will be freshman Kylie Butler, making her first appearance in the heptathlon.
Vaziri and Brady
Sitting a top the early Big West Standings in the men's 1500m, Shyan Vaziri and Tyler Brady have already accounted for five event wins this spring. Trading off 800m and 1500m doubles, look for this power duo to take a break from eachother this weekend with Brady taking the lead role in the 800m and Vaziri toeing the line in the 1500m.
Shannon Trumbull looks to continue where she left off at Riverside after hitting a 13.99w PR. Trumbull currently sits third on the Big West performance list. Senior Sean Johnson has already recorded three event wins in the 110HH and looks to parlay a solid block of training into a steep drop in time this weekend. Johnson opened the season with a 14.43 clocking which was just off his 14.28 PR. Freshman Hallie Brauner has continued to turn heads in the 400m hurdles. After running just her third race ever in the event, Brauner sits fourth in the Big West in the early season rankings.
Last time at Riverside, Jessica Johnson fired an early season warning letting everyone in the conference know she's back. Johnson ran a 55.34 one lap time into a strong wind, a time which currently puts her in third in the Big West. She is entered in the 400m this Saturday.
Spring Break Training
The Gauchos are currently on their spring break. This week the track and field squad will be ramping back their training after finals week as well as participating in several team bonding events.