Freshman hurdler Jessica Davis finished with a time of 14.60 for third place in the women's 100-meter hurdles. | Joseph Pack/Mustang News

Evan Morter

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The track and field edition of the Blue-Green rivalry saw UC Santa Barbara win both the men’s and women’s events Saturday at the Cal Poly Track & Field Complex. The Gaucho men prevailed in the dual meet 102.5-99.5, while the women won 104-98.

The Gauchos’ victory brings the Central Coast rivalry to a 12-12 tie all-time.

The Mustangs won 17 of the 38 events on Saturday, coming up short of winning the final meet of the regular season.

However, head coach Mark Conover didn’t see the loss as a detriment to the team’s progression. Instead, the rivalry is the Mustangs’ wake-up call heading into the postseason, he said.

“It’s fun to have dual meets,” Conover said. “The teams get fired up for it. It’s another competition to prepare for the conference meet and beyond for some.”

Sophomores Ajah Love and Kendal Nielsen helped Cal Poly keep the meet close.

Love won the women’s 200-meter and 100-meter dashes while her teammate, Nielsen, won the long jump and the triple jump.

For the men, senior Chris Frias is primed for another breakout postseason, after his success in the cross-country NCAA championships in the fall. Frias came close to breaking his personal best time, 8:08, in the 3,000 meters and came away with first place in the event.

Frias’ fellow senior Jamison Jordan won the 100-meter dash with a 10.44, just shy of his personal best.

The heat wave in San Luis Obispo plagued the Mustangs the entire week of preparation, but rather than bemoan the conditions, Conover believes it will give his team an advantage for next week at the Big West Championships at UC Davis.

“It gives us some preparation for UC Davis because it could be hot,” he said.

The first weekend of events is set to take place May 9-10, and weather predictions see 90-degree highs sweeping Davis, Calif. on Friday.

Five Cal Poly underclassmen won first-place medals in the Blue-Green dual meet, showing the depth and future of the team heading into the postseason.

Freshman Patrick Hughes took the men’s pole vault, while fellow freshman Ben Hartinger won the men’s 400-meter hurdles.

“We have been very competitive this year,” Conover said. “The great thing is we have some outstanding graduating seniors, but we a lot of promising young freshmen and sophomores. They have been contributing across the board this season.”

That depth is the package for success in the Big West Conference Championships, Conover said.

“Across the board we have some outstanding individuals,” he said. “Some great individual efforts have went on this far in the year. Now we just ,look to selecting our best team to go forward to the conference meet.”

The Big West Conference Championships begin May 9-10 and continue into the following weekend of May 16-17.

“We’ve had some excellent performances this year,” Conover said. “A couple of school records, several people getting all-time top-10 at Cal Poly which are outstanding achievements.”

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