SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UCSB men's and women's track and field squads will travel to Long Beach State this Friday, April 7th to compete in the annual Big West Challenge Cup.
Quickly becoming one of the highlight meets of the regular season, the Challenge Cup will be held at the new Jack Rose Track Facility and will include host Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton.
The competition will start with the Javelin at 1:45 before the running events pick-up at 3:30 pm and carry on throughout the afternoon.
Each of the four teams will be allowed to count two athletes per event and one team relay toward scoring. The individual events will be scored 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The relays will be scored 9-7-6-5.
In 2016, the Gaucho men placed second behind eventual Big West Champions, Long Beach State. Scoring 161 points to LBST's 165.5, the UCSB men swept the four distance events while also spearing a win in the Javelin.
The UCSB women emerged on top to grab last years crown with 189.5 points. They would go on to finish second at the 2016 Big West Championships. The Gaucho women swept the distances and went on to collect three event wins in the Long Jump, High Jump and Javelin.
Men's All-Time Update
So far in 2017, six UCSB men have added seven performances to the All-Time list. UCSB Junior Sike Azu-Irondi set the 100m school record of 10.55 at the All-UC Challenge at UC San Diego to start his season. He clocked 21.47 last weekend at UCLA to notch a #5 spot in the 200m dash as well.
Kordell Hampton also set a new UCSB record in the Discus at the All-UC Invite. He later broke it again at the same venue for the Aztec Invite with a heave of 182'1".
Stephen Leach improved to 172'6" in the Discus to move to #5 all time.
At the first Multi event of the season, UCSB Junior Jeff Lam scored 6616 in the Decathlon, moving to #6 All-Time with the new decathlon scoring tables.
UCSB Senior Matthew Kuskey unleashed a javelin throw of 225'8 to move up the All-Time list to the #2 position.
And Joshua Rennick has improved upon his #10 spot in the Triple Jump with a 47'1" leap.
Women's All-Time Update
The UCSB women have produced their own share of top-ten marks in 2017. So far this season, seven women have added eleven marks to the list.
UCSB Junior Jenna Hinkle has been enjoying another banner year, most recently taking down the UCSB record in the 1500m at the Stanford Invitational last weekend. She won her race in 4:16.62 and now has the #9 time in the nation. She also ran 2:09.66 in the 800m (#5) and 9:46.71 in the 3000m (#9).
Senior Tori Usgaard has been honing her strengths with a Long Jump best of 19'2.5" that ranks #8 on the list and a 100H PB of 14.07 that improves on her #4 spot. Add in 5 more events and she has been able to debut in the Heptathlon with 5329 points, the second highest All-Time performance, only behind Olympian Barbara Nwaba.
Veteran hurdler Shannon Trumbull has come back this year and proved she means business with new bests of 13.95 and 60.78 in the 100H and 400H. 13.95 ranks her #3 and 60.78 #4 All-Time.
Sophomore Hope Bender just recently set a personal best of 13.84 in the 100H, #2 All-Time on the list.
Kelsey O'Connell, a UCSB senior from Torrey Pines High School, moved to the #6 spot in school history in the 3000m steeplechase for her 10:39.56 clip at the UCLA meet.
And in the throws, Valerie Nestor moved to #3 in the Hammer with her 193'0 heave at the Ben Brown Invite. Kayla Thayer threw the #7 Shot Put mark in school history with her 44'0.5" at Ben Brown as well.