LA JOLLA, Calif. - Former UC San Diego track and field All-Americans Kelly Fogarty, Nick Howe and Linda Rainwater will be on the national stage this weekend at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, taking place Thursday, June 20, through Sunday, June 23, in Des Moines, Iowa. All three current Triton volunteer assistant coaches will be competing for Team Movin Shoes.
Held at Drake Stadium on the Drake University campus, the meet serves as a qualifier to represent Team USA in Moscow, Russia at the Aug. 10-18 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships.
Rainwater (2007-10) takes on an elite field in the women’s high jump on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. PDT. The 2009 NCAA Division II national champion was a last-minute qualifier for the meet upon hitting a career-best height of 6’0” at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center Pre-World meet on June 13. She goes into the high jump with a share of the 13th seed among the 18 participants.
Fogarty (2008-11) will sprint in the women’s 200 meters. Seeded 28th among a field that includes 2012 Olympic gold medalists Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight, Jeneba Tarmoh, DeeDee Trotter and Lauryn Williams, she will occupy lane eight in the fourth and final heat during prelims on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. PDT. Fogarty, who is trained by UCSD sprint coach Mick Gieskes, is ranked 42nd in the U.S. and qualified automatically with a time of 23.25 on June 8 at the San Diego USATF Championships. Semifinals for the 200 will go off at 12:22 p.m. PDT on Sunday, with the final set for 2:20 p.m. PDT. Eight or so are selected for the World Championships in the sprints to account for relays.
Howe (2009-12), the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division II national champion in the javelin, heads into the championships ranked No. 6 out of 22 entrants. He turned in a remarkable personal-best mark of 257’3” to finish third at the Tucson Elite Throws Classic on May 18, which was good enough for an automatic qualifier for this weekend’s meet. The distance rates 54th in the world for 2013. Howe will throw 10th in the second flight of the event which will commence at noon PDT on Sunday.
In other alumni news, 2012 London Olympian Sonali (Christine) Merrill (2007-10) ran a personal-best 56.45 in the 400 hurdles at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center on June 8, guaranteeing her a trip to the IAAF World Championships. As a competitor for Sri Lanka, she is not eligible to run in Iowa. Merrill is training under UCSD women's head coach Darcy Ahner and Gieskes this year.
Stephanie LeFever (2008-11), who participated in the 2012 Olympic Trials last summer, will be absent due to injury but plans on returning to the track in 2014. Danielle Thu (2009-11), another current Triton assistant and 2009 NCAA Division II national champion in the hammer, has retired from competitive throwing because of injury and will focus on coaching.
UCSD men's head coach Tony Salerno, who trains Howe, as well as Ahner and Gieskes will all be present in Des Moines.
"We think this is pretty notable for our program," offered Salerno. "With the relatively small number of athletes selected to compete in each event, and the relative youth of the people we have in the meet, we think this is a pretty big landmark for the success of the program in recent years."
The 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be broadcast live online at USATF.TV, with nine hours of television coverage provided by ESPN2, Universal Sports, NBC Sports Network and NBC. Please check your local listings.
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