Walkowiak, Caraway Headline Stellar Performances at ASU's Sun Angel Classic
TEMPE, Ariz. — The University of California San Diego track and field teams split up this weekend, with the Tritons’ NCAA Championship qualifiers competing at the 40thSun Angel Classic hosted by Arizona State, and the rest of the team at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.
Most of the Tritons’ highlights this weekend came against Division I competition at the Sun Angel meet, led by sophomore Blake Walkowiak’s first-place finish in the discus with an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of 171-feet, 6-inches (52.27-meters). The toss ranks second all-time in program history and has a strong chance of clinching a trip to the NCAA Championships next month in Kingsville, Texas.
Walkowiak has improved his personal record by nearly 20 feet over the last two weeks.
Also on the men’s side, senior Matt Bowen placed second in the triple jump with a pro-qualifying mark of 49’1.50” (14.97), while senior Nick Famolaro earned a third-place finish in the 800-meter with a new personal record and provisional-qualifying time of 1-minute, 51.74-seconds.
For the women, senior Natalie Caraway posted provisional-qualifying mark in the high jump by clearing 5’8.75” (1.75) to finish fifth overall. The leap is tied for second all-time in program history, as Caraway came just short of the automatic qualifying mark of 5’9.75.” However, it will still likely seal a spot in the NCAA Championships.
Senior Esther Nofodji had another strong performance in the discus, easily clearing a pro-qualifying mark with a best toss of 158’5” (48.30) to take third place in the meet and third place in UC San Diego’s record books. Meanwhile, junior Gabby Eshiet placed eighth overall in the shot put with a pro-qualifying toss of 48’3.50” (14.72), which is her best mark of the season.
Junior Claudia Cox placed fourth overall in the 400 hurdles, crossing the finish line with a provisional qualifying time of 59.59-seconds. It’s just .41 off her fastest time ever recorded earlier this season.
In addition, senior teammate Kelly Strand also posted a pro-qualifying time, finishing eighth overall at 1:01.24.
UC San Diego returns to action next weekend when it hosts the annual Triton Invitational on April 12-13 at Triton Track & Field Stadium. The Triton men are currently No. 8 in the USTFCCA Track & Field Rating Index, while the women are No. 14.
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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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