2018 UC Santa Cruz Women Track and Field Season Outlook

Sydney Gutierrez comes off an outstanding Cross Country season to lead the Slugs' middle distances in 2018
Sydney Gutierrez comes off an outstanding Cross Country season to lead the Slugs' middle distances in 2018

After a successful 2017 Track & Field season, the Banana Slug Women are ready to increase their presence both Regionally and Nationally during the 2018 season.  The UC Santa Cruz freshman women are going to provide a lot of depth and excellent credentials to the expanding Track & Field roster.  The UC Santa Cruz Women are excited to embark on another incredible season with the goal of sending participants to the NCAA Division III Championships.

Sprints/Hurdles/Relays

The UC Santa Cruz have a balance of freshman and returners to bolster the expanding Sprint Program.  Freshman Abby McPhillips comes to UC Santa Cruz from Oak Park High School already a sub-60 second 400m performer.  Freshman Melanie Wong of Irvington High School comes in as the MVAL League runner-up in the 100mh and a two-time National Junior Olympic Qualifier. Freshman Tara Tracy of Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto comes in ready to contribute in the hurdles, sprints, and vertical jumps.

Juniors Nancy Alvarado and Natalie Marquardt and sophomore Siena Benavides should continue to provide a lot of speed for the Slugs.  Alvarado, already a school record holder in the 4x400m Relay, is looking to transition to the 200m and 400m sprints this season.  Marquardt is looking to continue to develop her speed in the 200m and 400m after transitioning from a middle distance runner last season.  Benavides, the current school record holder in the 100m, 200m, and Long Jump, is looking to lower her sprint school records even further this season and be one of the top ranked 100m sprinters in the West Region. 

Middle Distance/Distance

After a successful debut by a number of freshman distance runners this past Cross Country season, the group is now ready to jump on to the Track.  Carrie Bradley, the Association of Division 3 Independents Rookie of the Year, is looking to build into a top 1500m and 5000m performer this season. NCAA West Regional Participants Allie Lourim and Abby Klein look to provide added depth in the distance events.  

Arkansas 800m State Champion Victoria Mitchell should be an instant contributor in the middle distances.  With successful off-seasons expect freshman Bay Area natives Amelia Huster and Sanjana Raman to also make immediate impacts in the middle distances.

Junior AD3I Runner of the Year Sydney Gutierrez returns in 2018 to try and add school records in the 800m and 1500m to her existing 400m school record.  Sophomores Nat Adey and Erin Carvalho will look to make impacts in the middle distances this season.  With strong off-seasons expect to see juniors Casey Chien and Diana Rosas to impress in the distance events.

Jumps

The UC Santa Cruz Women will look to continue to build a Horizontal and Vertical Jumps program in the spring of 2018.  In the Vertical Jumps Freshman Abby McPhillips, a 2015 California State Meet participant, should instantly be a contender as the top freshman in the West Region.  Juniors Madison Wright and Marquardt will look to clear the 5'0 barrier this season in the High Jump.  Freshman Clare Ahearn, Sophomore Isabella Chiaravalloti, and Senior Marquardt should look to consistently scale 10 ft this season in the Pole Vault and battle to be the school record holder.

In the Horizontal Jumps, Corona High school graduate Keyana Kautz should look to be Regionally ranked in both the Long Jump and Triple Jump this season.  Sophomore Siena Benevides, the second best freshman Long Jumper in the West Region a year ago, looks to become a national contender and compete for a spot at the NCAA National Championships.

Throws

Sophomore sensation Jordynn Dorado will look to re-set her own school records in the Shot Put, Discus, and Hammer Throw this season. Ranked in the West Region's top 15 in each throw in  2017, Dorado will look to move to the top of the Region Rankings and vye for a bid to the National Championships.  After an impressive off-season,  sophomore Gilly Davis is looking to become a Regional threat in the Discus this season while also contributing in the other throwing events.