The heart of the outdoor season is about to begin for the UCLA women’s track and field squad.

Many of the team’s athletes have been selected to not compete in a number of earlier meets in hopes that it will lead to a longer, healthier season down the road.

This weekend’s Cal Poly Invitational in San Luis Obispo is one of the earlier meets that will provide the Bruins who are competing a chance to get some final work in before the bigger events of the season.

Coach Jeanette Bolden stressed the importance of competing in these early meets not as a way to measure the success of the team as a whole, but to use them as valuable training exercises.

“Right now we have been using the last part of March and early April for training. “¦ It will help us be prepared,” Bolden said.

After running two-a-day practices during spring break, Bolden is happy with the way the team is shaping up.

“Twice a day is a lot, and we’ve got some great performances out of tired legs.”

Among the athletes who will not participate this weekend and instead earn some valuable rest time are junior distance runners Shannon Murakami and Kelcie Wiemann. Both are coming off strong performances at the Stanford Invitational last weekend, when they each ran career bests.

Wiemann, a redshirt junior, placed 12th overall in the 10,000 meters with a time of 34:58:17. Murakami competed in the 5,000m and also finished 12th, posting a time of 16:28:97.

Looking to carry momentum over to this weekend after a career performance at the Cal/Nevada Championships last week, sophomore pole-vaulter Tori Pena seems to be in top form. She set a personal outdoor best by clearing 14-1.25 last Saturday, and Bolden said she is excited to see Pena compete this season.