Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Junior Chelsea Challacombe performed well in the heptathlon at the Bryan Clay Invitational over the weekend.

Matt Bowen, Chelsea Challacombe Highlight Tritons' Big Weekend

UC San Diego

LONG BEACH, Calif. and AZUSA, Calif. — Senior Matt Bowen set a new program and personal record in the long jump and junior Chelsea Challacombe had an NCAA provisional-qualifying finish in the heptathlon to highlight a compelling weekend for the UC San Diego track and field teams.

Bowen was part of the Tritons' large contingent competing at the Beach Opener hosted by Long Beach State, while Challacombe was among a handful of athletes in attendance at Azusa Pacific's Bryan Clay Invitational.

With UC San Diego set to host the 2019 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships May 2-4, several Tritons are building momentum heading into the stretch run of the season.

“Between our own Triton Invitational last week and this week, our athletes have competed against some of the best in the world,” said UC San Diego head coach Tony Salerno. “Nothing could prepare us better for the CCAA Championships in two weeks.”

Bowen’s leap of 25-feet, 2-inches (7.67-meters) at the Beach Invitational is an NCAA provisional qualifier and was good for fourth overall on Saturday. In the process, it surpassed his own previous best  — and school best — mark of 25’0.5” from 2016. 

The Fresno, Calif., native also had another provisional-qualifying mark in the triple jump of 48’8.75” (14.85), which was 10thamong collegiate athletes.

Meanwhile, Challacombe was a headliner for the Tritons at the Bryan Clay Invitational. The Junior from Los Alamos, N.M., placed 13th overall in Group 3 with 4682 points, highlighted by a second-place finish in the shot put with a toss of 37’5.75” (11.42). 

Challacombe’s personal record is 4739 set last season, with the school record held by Stephanie LeFever with 5385 points in 2011.

In addition, Joshua Asiedu-Akrofi continued his stellar freshman season by posting a time of 10.70-seconds in the 100 meter — fourth best in program history — to take second place in his heat. Meanwhile, Junior Claudia Cox and senior Kelly Strand continued their success in the 400 hurdles, with Cox finishing fourth overall at 59.53 and Strand right behind in sixth at 1:00.42.

Provisional Qualifiers:

Matt Bowen, long jump — 25’2” (7.67) 
Matt Bowen, triple jump — 48’8.75” (14.85)
Gabby Eshiet, shot put — 47’5.25” (14.46)
Esther Nofodji, discus — 149’7” (45.59)
Blake Walkowiak, discus — 165’1” (50.33)
Claudia Cox, 400 hurdles — 59.53 
Kelly Strand, 400 hurdles — 1:00.42 
Natalie Caraway, triple jump — 38’11” (11.86)
Chelsea Challacombe, heptathlon — 4682 points

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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