LOS ANGELES – For the second time in the span of a couple weeks the UCLA track and field team will split its squad between Albuquerque, N.M., and Seattle, Wash. The majority of the team will head to the Don Kirby Elite Invite at the Albuquerque Convention Center while the distance runners will head to the Husky Classic at the Dempsey Indoor Arena.
“Once again we will split our team to maximize the opportunities to qualify our teams,” UCLA director of track and field Mike Maynard said. “The meets this weekend and the MPSF are the only two remaining opportunities for our student-athletes to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.”
Both meets are scheduled to start on Friday, Feb. 14 and will go through Saturday, Feb. 15. The Don Kirby Elite Invite will begin on Friday with the field events at 3 p.m. PT, and the track events at 5 p.m. PT. On Saturday the Bruins return for a 9:30 a.m. start time. In Seattle, the action begins at 4 p.m. PT. Saturday will kick off at 8 a.m. PT.
“This weekend is also the last opportunity to sharpen up before the MPSF Conference Championships in Seattle at the end of the month,” Maynard added. “Our distance crew will head up to the Husky Classic, one of the NCAAs premier distance competitions, held at the University of Washington this weekend. We are looking forward to some break through performances from our distance squad.”
Eight men’s teams are ranked in the top 25 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, while seven women’s squads own that distinction.
The No. 3 Oregon men headline the men’s competition, which also includes No. 8 Arizona, No. 12 UTEP, No. 14 Arizona State, No. 20 Stanford, No. 21 Akron, No. 24 USC and No. 25 Mississippi.
The women’s field features the second-ranked Ducks of Oregon, along with No. 9 Stanford, No. 18 Michigan, No. 20 Akron, No. 21 Arizona State and No. 23 Arizona.
The UCLA women check in at No. 13 in the poll this week. Nine Bruins currently have a mark in the top-25 in their respective events while Kylie Price ranks second in the long jump and Kelsey Smith boasts the third best time in the 3,000m.
UCLA will have a week off before it heads back to Seattle for the MPSF Championships. The meet will begin on Friday, Feb. 28.