Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara will be slated to compete in the Beach Opener this weekend, hosted by none other than Big West Conference rivals Long Beach State at Jack Rose Stadium on the 49er's main campus. The 19 total teams in attendance will include UC Irvine as another Big West Conference competitor as well as UC San Diego. The Tritons will be joining the Big West Conference in the near future as it transitions from Division 2 to Division 1, with their full transition of all sports set to be complete by 2024. The Gauchos will take this opportunity to truly commence their outdoor season at the two day competition as the qualifying windows for the Big West Conference Championships and the NCAA West Regional Meet will officially begin on March 1st. There will be a hammer and javelin only portion of the meet taking place Friday at 12 pm while the rest of the meet will begin early Saturday morning at 8 am.
Spectator parking is available off of Atherton Avenue in lots G11, G9, G8, G7, G6 and PS1 (also known as the Pyramid Parking Structure). Parking is also available off of Palo Verde Avenue in lots G12, G13, G14 and parking structures PS2 & PS3 (also known as Palo Verde North and Palo Verde South Parking Structures). The standard spectator parking fee will be $9.
Gates to the track will open at 8:00 am at the main spectator entrance on the West side of Jack Rose Stadium. Adult tickets will be priced at $10 while Seniors (60+) and Youth (3-12) will be priced at $8. Seniors must present I.D. in order to receive the discount price.
Gauchos to Watch
Junior Tori Palma and freshman Gabriela Sanchez will be pulling triple duty at this meet with both competing in the hammer on Friday as well as the discus and shot put on Saturday. Palma comes into the meet fresh off a winning 13.46m throw at the Gaucho Round-Up nearly two weeks ago, which put her onto the UCSB All-Time List at No. 10 for that event.
Senior Cassidy Peng will be entering the long jump, along with junior Josephine Graeber, as well as the pole vault this weekend after jumping a wind-aided 12.01m in the triple jump at the Round-Up. Graeber is also coming off wins from the home meet in the long and high jump, her wind-aided 5.83m jump being the second farthest mark of her career under all conditions as a Gaucho.
Redshirt sophomore Astrid Rosvall will be dropping in distance on Saturday to run the 800m after winning the full mile at the home meet at 4:55.92. Junior Katie Camarena, who was second in the mile just behind Rosvall, will be attempting a double this weekend as she's entered as the first seed in both the 1500m and 3000m.
Freshman Graham Michiels will be taking high jump duties after setting a new personal best of 2.00m at the Round-Up to take second behind his twin brother Peter. Unfortunately Graham will have to wait a bit for a rematch as Peter will be doing the long jump and the 110m hurdles at the Opener instead.
Senior Kordell Hampton will be quite busy with three events at Long Beach as he's entered in the shot put, hammer, and discus. He goes into the discus as the first seed but he'll have some stiff competition in the likes of Long Beach's Josh Carr, who's just behind his personal best in the discus and has finished just behind Kordell at the conference meet for the past three years in the same event.
Sophomore George Harris will also be slated for the shot and discus, having won the discus at the Round-Up in the second farthest throw of his Gaucho career at 48.21m. Joining him will be Junior Chris Ruggles who is slated as the second seed in the shot put, joining the Gauchos this weekend in competition after sitting out the home meet.
Lastly, sophomore Thomas Wilfert will be toeing the line in the 1500m after also sitting out at the Round-Up. He comes in as the first seed with Alex Barr and Isiah Lozano just behind. It should be an interesting race with a few UC San Diego runners sporting similar personal bests in the mix.