After months of working to reach the top, 26 individuals from the men’s and women’s track and field teams will have a chance to put all their hard work to the test.
The men and women’s track and field team will travel to Austin, Texas, for a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
This weekend is a chance for the some of the younger Bruin athletes to show that they can compete at the collegiate level, as a majority of the women’s track and field team is comprised of freshmen and sophomores.
“We have such a young team, and we are really looking for some of our freshman to try to have a good impact,” coach Jeanette Bolden said.
After finally getting over her injuries, junior Turquoise Thompson is going into the meet ranked No. 3 in the country and is competing to defend her 400-meter hurdles regional title.
“She’s coming off of two good weeks of really good training, so I expect to see really good things in Turquoise Thompson,” Bolden said.
On the men’s side, five are ranked in the top 10 for their events and are well on their way to qualifying for nationals.
“The whole team is really focused, and they seem ready to go. It’s going to take big performances from everybody, but we’re all capable of doing it,” said sophomore pole vaulter Mike Woepse.
Last year at regionals, Woepse had a surprising performance that qualified him for the NCAA Championships in the pole vault.
This year, he will be one of the favorites in the field, and he is now just trying to get his jump in to prepare for the NCAA Championships.
Redshirt freshman javelin thrower Derek Eager, who is ranked as the No. 8 javelin thrower in the nation, said that he is excited to compete this weekend and hopes that the team’s support will guide him to the NCAA Championships.
“Our team is really close and very supportive, so the whole team will be out there cheering on every event, watching every person out there,” Eager said.
The Bruins will have to place in the top 12 in their events in order to earn a trip to Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA Championships.