Many people view track and field as an individual sport rather than a team one. Many athletes in this sport spend time and effort training individually and often compete individually as well.
However, this is not the mindset of the UCLA track and field team heading into this weekend’s dual meet against USC. In a dual meet, every athlete’s contribution is essential for the team. If one athlete falters, it is up to the rest of the team to make up the lost points in another event. Every athlete is dependent upon his or her teammates. The Bruins are embracing this togetherness and hope to edge out the Trojans in what is likely to be a very close meet.
This Sunday’s competition will mark the final home meet of the season for UCLA, and the Bruins are looking to send their seniors off with a win against their bitter rivals.
During the outdoor track season, UCLA competed against USC at the Trojan Invitational; this time the Bruins will face their crosstown foe one-on-one.
Sophomore pole vaulter Mike Woepse emphasized the importance of giving the team’s seniors an appropriate farewell.
“Our main focus has been on getting everybody ready for this meet. Everyone is focused and prepared. The main and biggest thing is sending our seniors out well,” Woepse said.
Sophomore All-American Alec Faldermeyer, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the NCAA this season, is ready to continue his dominance in the hammer and will look to follow up on his massive performance at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays last weekend.
“Competition like this brings out the best in everyone. This is a huge meet for us going into championship season,” Faldermeyer said.
It is imperative for both the men’s and women’s teams to capitalize on their last few chances to compete in preparation for Pac-12 Championships, which are a mere two weeks away.
Junior pole vaulter Allison Koressel, who finished third in the pole vault against USC last season, looks to continue improving and plans to compete in the postseason.
“We’ve been training for this meet, and everyone is looking to do their best. It should be some pretty good competition,” Koressel said.