A Brief History of UCSC Track & Field

For many years there has been a Track & Field Club at UC Santa Cruz. Jeff Arnett, Don Roberts, and Geoff Foley were among the coaches who guided those teams. In 2012, under Head Coach Aaron Jacobsen and Assistant Coach Jamey Harris, UCSC sponsored its first varsity Women’s Track & Field team, joining the varsity Cross Country team in competing in the NCAA at Division III. At that time, the team consisted exclusively of distance runners who had run on the Cross Country team. The Track & Field Club continued under Foley.

Four years later, in 2016, UCSC added Men’s Track & Field. By then, Jamey Harris had become Head Coach. That first year, the teams continued to be almost exclusively distance runners. Paul Friedenbach provided coaching for a pair of pole vaulters who competed that spring.

Fall of 2016 brought the first recruiting class that included all event groups. Foley took over coaching throws for the varsity team, while David Klech was brought on board to coach sprints, hurdles, and jumps.

During 2017, the first full varsity Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams competed in every event group. Most of the Club members joined the varsity team, leaving the Club depleted, but not dead.

An impressive recruiting class will join the varsity program this fall. There will surely be more athletes than the program can accommodate. The Track & Field Club roster will obviously benefit from the overflow as the varsity Track & Field program becomes increasingly more competitive, both within the NCAA’s West Region and on a national scale.

Moving into the future, the varsity Track & Field program at UC Santa Cruz is expected to become one of the top programs in the Region and compete for national recognition.

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