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Weekend preview: May 12

UCLA track and field athletes run on the track together during their meet against USC on May 1. The Bruins will commence their postseason at the Pac-12 championships starting Friday. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin staff)

By Genevieve Trimbell and Caleb Freeman Sacker

May 12, 2022 1:24 p.m.

Track and field
Caleb Freeman Sacker, Daily Bruin contributor

The Bruins will kick off their postseason after just under two weeks of rest.

UCLA track and field will compete in the 2022 Pac-12 championships, a three-day event starting Friday. The Bruins will send 56 athletes – evenly split between men and women – to compete at Hayward Field in Eugene.

The athletes selected to compete this week for the Bruins earned qualifying marks throughout the season, granting them an opportunity to participate in the postseason.

This meet consists of six men’s teams and seven women’s squads in the USTFCCCA top 25.

With an entire season building up for the postseason, coach Avery Anderson said he knows his squad is ready to perform.

“We are bringing the people who give us the best chance, and we feel ready to perform to the best of our abilities,” Anderson said. “I’m extremely excited about the competition. This feels good, and we are ready to go out and compete.”

Athletes will have a chance to qualify for the NCAA preliminary rounds with their performances in Eugene and subsequently the NCAA championships – which will also be held in Eugene next month.

Anderson said the team’s overall performance is the main focus this weekend and added that it will have to maximize its potential.

“Understanding what we are going into, we got to bring our A-game,” Anderson said. “We got to go in and put everything on the line, … come together and fight like Bruins.”

Genevieve Trimbell, Daily Bruin contributor

The Bruins are heading into what could be their final meet of the season.

UCLA rowing (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) will travel to Dexter Lake, Oregon, to compete at the Pac-12 championships on Sunday. It will face off against No. 2 Stanford, No. 8 Washington, No. 10 California, No. 13 Oregon State, No. 16 USC and No. 19 Washington State in the meet.

At the Longhorn Invitational on April 30, the Bruins competed against four nonconference teams and finished last in every race, two weeks after placing first in every race against Loyola Marymount.

Interim coach Previn Chandraratna said despite their last-place finishes, the Bruins saw positives in their performance in Texas. In particular, UCLA finished 3.278 seconds behind fourth-place Virginia in the varsity eight race.

“The varsity eight raced hard,” Chandraratna said. “At the time, Virginia was ranked 14th in the country, and we went even speed with them all the way down the course. It was a learning experience for them because they had to learn they had that kind of speed.”

The first-place finisher at the Pac-12 championships secures an automatic spot in the NCAA championships in two weeks. If UCLA does not secure that spot or an at-large bid, its season will end this weekend.

Chandraratna said as the season comes to a close, the Bruins are focusing on combining everything they have practiced this season.

“We’re looking to represent well and peak for this weekend,” Chandraratna said. “Much of the year is foundation building, but as you get to this time of year, it’s time to start ‘doing the thing,’ as we call it, going at the actual race speed required.”

Women’s races will begin at 9:10 a.m. on Sunday with the novice eight.

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Genevieve Trimbell | Sports contributor
Trimbell is currently a contributor on the gymnastics and rowing beats.
Trimbell is currently a contributor on the gymnastics and rowing beats.
Caleb Freeman Sacker | Sports contributor
Freeman Sacker is currently a Sports contributor on the men's golf and track & field beats.
Freeman Sacker is currently a Sports contributor on the men's golf and track & field beats.
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