CHICO, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's and women's track and field teams concluded the final day of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships, Saturday at University Stadium. The UC San Diego men finished in second place while the women were fourth.
The UCSD men's team scored 193 points. Chico State earned its second straight CCAA title after finishing with 242.5 points. The Wildcat men have now won 13 out of the last 14 conference titles with the Tritons breaking up the monopoly, winning in 2015. Cal Poly Pomona (143.5), Stanislaus State (119), Humboldt State (64), Cal State LA (44) and Cal State East Bay (9) rounded out the rest of the field.
The UCSD women scored 107.5 points to claim fourth place. Chico State won its eighth straight title, totaling 198.5 points. San Francisco State came in second (153) and Humboldt State was third (138). Cal Poly Pomona (66.5), Stanislaus State (59.5), Cal State LA (53), Cal State Dominguez Hills (22), Cal State San Bernardino (17) and Cal State East Bay (3) rounded out spots five through 10, respectively.
The men's 4x100 relay team of sophomore Andrew Dirks, senior Emmanuel Elijah, junior Justin Hunter and junior anchor Paul Doan earned the Tritons' first win of the day. In an exciting race, the quartet came from behind, crossing the line first with a time of 41.48. UCSD was in third place as Hunter passed the baton to Doan. Doan managed to pass two competitors to earn the victory.
Individually, Doan also ran in the finals of the 100 and 200-meter dash. He placed second in the 100 (10.78) and third in the 200 (21.69). Hunter was also a finalist in both races, finishing fourth in the 100 (10.87) and sixth in the 200 (22.25).
Senior Khalil Flemister won his first CCAA title in the triple jump. His winning mark of 49'2.25" was a personal best as well as a strong NCAA provisional qualifier. Arik Nesbit was right behind him, finishing in second place with a jump of 46'1.5". Fellow sophomore Nevin Sarao earned points for UCSD after finishing eighth in the event (43'5.25”). For the women, sophomore Natalie Caraway grabbed third place (37'8.75").
The Tritons got an individual title in the high jump from Raymond Silver. Silver bested the competition based on number of attempts clearing 6'5.75" on his first try. Fellow junior Ruthvik Sunilkumar was right behind Silver in second place. He cleared 6'5.75" on his third attempt. Juniors Brett Molster and Luis Carson tied for fourth (6'3.75").
The UCSD women's high jump contingent took three top-eight finishes to give the Tritons 12.5 points. Senior Savanna Forry and Caraway tied for third place (5'6") while freshman Chelsea Challacombe was seventh (5'4").
Senior Jared Senese came from behind with 50 meters to go to win the 400 with a time of 48.73. Josef Polk placed fourth in the event (49.34), while fellow freshman Adam Winding was fifth (49.60). On the women's side, senior Jackie Chalmers took sixth (57.31).
In the discus, sophomore Esther Nofodji placed fourth (144'0.5") while junior Hannah Johnson grabbed the eighth spot (126'6.75"). The men's discus throwers consisted of junior Mason Falahat placing fourth (149'4.75") and senior Chris Vanliew nabbing sixth (147'4"). Vanliew also took fourth in the shot put with a distance of 50'6.75". Freshman Devin Lecakes-Jones was right behind him in fifth (49'1.25").
Junior Merin Arft and freshman Camille Perkins finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the steeplechase. Arft had a time of 11:06.44 while Perkins went 11:12.06. On the men's side, sophomore Joseph Benrubi was fifth (9:28.67) while junior Garrett Lepine placed eighth (9:33.69).
Also in the distance events, junior Kristin Semancsin had a runner-up performance in the 1500 (4:34.06) while sophomore Aren Johnson was fourth (3:53.59) and freshman Timothy Corvese was sixth 3:55.49. Semancsin was also sixth in the 800 (2:18.21) while senior Ella Verhees had a third-place finish in the event (2:14.35). Corvese finished third in the men's 800 (1:54.93) and Johnson turned in an eighth-place performance (2:02.58). In the men's 5000, sophomore Samuel Blake ran to a fifth-place finish (15:56.26) while senior Brendan Gee was seventh (15:29.55).
In the 400 hurdles, freshman Claudia Cox was the Tritons' top finisher in fourth (1:02.17), junior Meghan Fletcher grabbed sixth (1:05.60) and freshman Melissa Seaman got eighth (1:06.74). For the men, Polk was fourth (54.88) and Rack nabbed sixth (56.34).
The final track events of the day were the 4x400 relays. The UCSD men (Polk, Winding, Makhai Husband and Senese) were second in 3:16.54 while the women (Chalmers, senior Marisa Padilla, Cox and Fletcher) were fourth (3:50.72).
For most Tritons, the CCAA Championships mark the end of the season. Select few will travel to Santa Barbara for the Westmont All On the Line Qualifier on May 13 for one more chance to improve or grab NCAA qualifying marks.