Photo by: Nick Feller/UCSD Athletics
Senior Natalie Caraway placed fifth nationally in the high jump on Friday.

Natalie Caraway, Matt Bowen Claim All-America First Team Honors on Day 2 of NCAA Championships

UC San Diego

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The University of California San Diego track and field team put forth a few spectacular performances on Day 2 of the NCAA Championships at Texas A&M Kingsville’s Javelina Stadium.

Seniors Natalie Caraway, Matt Bowen and Nicholas Rack each earned All-America First-Team honors on Friday, with Rack still in contention for a national championship in the 110 hurdles when the final round begins on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. PT.

Caraway was the Tritons’ biggest highlight on Friday, finishing fifth nationally in the high jump by clearing 5-feet, 6.5-inches (1.69-meters). 

In just her first-career appearance at the NCAA Championships, Caraway had the top national finish for a Triton woman since 2011, when the duo of Stephanie LeFever (second in long jump/second in heptathlon) and Kelly Fogarty (fourth in 100/third in 200) dominated in Turlock, Calif.

Earlier this season, the Granite Bay, Calif., native set a new personal record in the high jump is 5’8.75” (1.75), which ranks second all-time in program history.

Bowen also advanced to the final round of the triple jump on Friday before finishing eighth overall. The senior from Fresno, Calif., recorded a best mark of 50’4.75” (15.36), which is just shy of his personal best in the event (51’4.25") that stands second all-time at UC San Diego.

Bowen completes his Triton career with two All-America First-Team honors in the triple jump, the other coming as a true freshman in 2015. He also earned his third All-America Second-Team honor in the long jump on Thursday.

Rack is the eighth and final qualifier for Saturday’s national final in the 110 hurdles, posting a time of 14.22-seconds in Friday’s prelims. The senior from Murrieta, Calif., is the school record holder in the event at 14.00, and entered the NCAA Championships ranked 12th nationally in 2019 with best time of 14.08.

Last year, Rack finished fourth overall in the 110 hurdles behind a time of 14.06 in the final round.

Senior Esther Nofodji was the first Triton in action on Friday, as the San Diego native placed 14th overall in the discus with a best toss of 153’1” (46.66). Nofodji ranks second all-time in the UC San Diego record books for the event, recording a mark of 160’11” (49.05) earlier this season.

In addition, sophomore Blake Walkowiak earned a 20th-place finish in the men's discus, recording a best mark of 159'4" (48.58). The native of Saugus, Calif., moved up to second all-time in UC San Diego history last month with a toss of 171'6" (52.27). 

In addition to Rack, junior Gabby Eshiet will also be in action on Saturday’s Day 3, competing in the shot put at approximately 11:15 a.m. PT.

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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