The University of Hawai’i women’s track and field team will head to Santa Barbara, Calif. to compete in the Big West Championships. The two-day event is scheduled for Friday, May 10 – Saturday, May 11 at the Pauley Track Facility.
The first women’s event of the championship will be the pole vault at 11:00 a.m. PT (8:00 a.m. HT) on May 10.
Entering the Big West Championships, UH has a number of student-athletes ranking in the top five in the conference in various events. The highest ranked amongst the Rainbows is Kristen LaCosse. The sophomore from Indiana is second in the 400m hurdles (59.56) and fourth in the 100m hurdles (14.04).
One of the running jokes on the race track for the team is Kristen’s uncanny ability to make her action shots look like a sunday stroll. Always picture perfect and in focus, never an unflattering facial expression.
“In our sport we’re always photographed making the worst faces. Always digging deep resulting in pictures I got to delete,” said teammate Raion Black with a smile. “I’m pretty sure we have all taken notice, like Kristen always has like the pretty face, but she works the hardest. You’re working so hard. Why don’t you look ugly?,” added Black.
“I’ve never been told that I’m photogenic but a lot of people have said that I’ve always like I just have like a blank expression on my face. I don’t know if that’s just because like I said I’m really in my head trying to focus on my own race,” said Lacosse.
Even head coach Tim Boyce laughed out loud before KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello could finish asking the question if he has noticed the pictures.
“I saw her compete in the USA TF juniors in Sacramento and recruited her from that meet, and it was the same thing. Just like, looked effortless, always had the same facial expression. Just focused and maintaining posture and form, and I think that that’s part of her secret to success,” said Boyce.
All joking aside, Lacosse has built a reputation on the track that has her contending to leave a significant mark in the program’s history. Never has a hurdler won a conference title at UH. A feat that many think could be accomplished.
“Her growth from last season to this season has been tremendous. To reach a regional as a freshman and then to take the experience and take a full second off from a year ago says it all. She can win gold by the time she leaves this program,” said Boyce.
“I actually never knew that, no ones ever gotten gold in hurdles so now that I know that I guess that’s another goal I can add to my list,” said Lacosse.
At last year’s Big West Track and Field Championships, Hawai’i placed ninth with 44 points. Among UH’s returners this year, the top performers at the 2018 Big West Championships were LaCosse, who placed fourth in the 400m hurdles and Brenzil, the fifth-place finisher in the javelin. The ‘Bows best finish in recent years was a sixth-place finish in 2015.
After the Big West Championships, the Rainbow Wahine will find out which student-athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round, set for May 23-25 in Sacramento, Calif.
Big West Track and Field Championships
When: Friday, May 10 – Saturday, May 11
Where: Pauley Track Facility – Santa Barbara, Calif.