Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Senior Esther Nofodji posted an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark in the discus on Saturday.

Tritons Fare Well Against Nation's Best at SDSU's Aztec Invitational

UC San Diego

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SAN DIEGO — University of California San Diego competed against some of the nation’s best over the weekend at the 2019 Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State.

Among teams in competing this weekend included No. 5 BYU, No. 7 Oregon, No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 17 UCLA on the men's side, as well as a women's field led by No. 5 Oregon, No. 17 Kansas State and No. 22 UCLA.

UC San Diego, which is ranked No. 3 on the women's side and No. 4 for men, had about two-thirds of its team in competition this weekend during final exam week.

"With this being finals week, we had pretty mixed results as expected," said UC San Diego men's head coach Tony Salerno. "Still, a number of or people showed they belong in competition with some of the top collegiate athletes in the sport."

UC San Diego Junior Claudia Cox was the highlight of the weekend, as she continued her spectacular 2019 season. The Greenville, N.C., native took first place in the 400 hurdles with an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 1-minute, 0.04-seconds, beating out second-place finisher Maya Brosch of San Diego State (1:00.68) and third place Haley Lubow of Wisconsin (1:00.80).

Senior Natalie Caraway placed eighth overall in the high jump, but did clear a pro-qualifying mark of 5-feet, 5.75-inches (1.67-meters), which was a new personal record and fourth all-time in program history. Caraway also earned second place in the triple jump with a best leap of 38’7” (11.76). 

In addition, senior Esther Nofodji improved her pro-qualifying mark in the discus with a best toss of 152’3” (46.41) en route to finishing 12th overall.

Senior Nicholas Rack led the way for the Triton men with a second-place finish in the 110 hurdles, posting a pro-qualifying time of 14.37-seconds. Rack finished ahead of third-place Ben Barton of BYU (15.01) and behind only Eric Edwards Jr. of Oregon (14.08).

Freshman Zacharu Aanstoots also posted a pro-qualifying mark in the high jump with a best leap of 6’9” (2.06) for a third-place finish on Saturday and tied for fourth-place all-time in program history, while freshman Maximilian Halvax finished eighth overall in the 400 behind a time of 48.24 which is sixth best all-time at UC San Diego.

UC San Diego returns to action next weekend as it hosts the California Collegiate Open at Triton Track and Field Stadium on Saturday, March 30.

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country.  The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference.  UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent.  A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.  In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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