Tritons Shine at Home in California Collegiate Open
LA JOLLA, Calif. — The University of California San Diego track and field teams hosted Saturday’s meet in style, earning several first-place finishes and NCAA provisional-qualifying marks at the California Collegiate Open at Triton Track and Field Stadium.
Both the Tritons men's (219) and women's team (197) took first place in the event.
“We had a great day overall,” said UC San Diego women’s head coach Darcy Ahner. “Up until today, our athletes hadn’t seen much besides upper-end Division-I competition all season.
“With the mix of D-II and D-III teams in the meet, the team score was never really in doubt. Some people punched their ticket to Nationals today and a few more put themselves on the all-time list.”
Senior Esther Nofodji was among the standouts for the No. 5-ranked Tritons, posting a strong pro-qualifying mark in the discus with a best toss of 160’11” (49.05) that ranks second all-time in program history and will likely qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The UC San Diego trio of junior Claudia Cox (59.28-seconds), senior Kelly Strand (1:00.52) and sophomore Zeinab Torabi (1:01.85) took the top three spots in the 400 hurdles, respectively, each finishing with provisional-qualifying times.
In addition, the Tritons’ 4x400 relay team of freshman Ellie Flint, sophomore Mckenna Meaney, Strand and Cox posted a pro qualifier of 3:47.48, while senior Natalie Caraway had another provisional qualifier performance winning first in the triple jump with a leap of 39’7.75” (12.08).
Other first-place finishers include junior Melissa Seaman in the long jump (18’0.25”/5.49), senior Caroline Page in the 100 hurdles (14.43), as well as the 4x400 relay team of freshman Ashley King, Meaney, Page and junior Avery Schulhofer (47.65).
Competing in the long jump for the first time all season, senior Matt Bowen immediately posted a provisional-qualifying mark of 24’9.75” (7.56) for first place. He also finished the day with the top mark in the triple jump behind a pro-qualifying leap of 50’2.75” (15.31).
Sophomore Blake Walkowiak was first in the discus with a pro qualifier of 166’5” (50.72), junior Josef Polk took first with a pro-qualifying time of 53.35 in the 400 hurdles and senior Nicholas Rack posted yet another pro qualifier in the 110 hurdles with a first-place finish at 14.41.
Junior Adam Winding earned first in the 400 crossing the finishing line in 49.04, while the 4x100 relay team of freshman Richie Caragao, Winding, sophomore Kavin Hariharan and freshman Joshua Asiedu-Akrofi placed first and barely missed a pro-qualifying time at 41.71.
Other first-place finishers for the No. 8-ranked Triton men include junior Devin Lecakes-Jones in the shot put (51’6.50”/ 15.71), junior Christian Kallenberg in the javelin (174’1”/ 53.08) and sophomore Evan Shimasaki in the pole vault (16’”0.75”/ 4.90).
UC San Diego will be back in action next weekend, as the Tritons’ NCAA qualifiers will compete in the Sun Angel Invitational hosted by Arizona State, and the others heading to the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational in Claremont, Calif.
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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