LA JOLLA, Calif. – Competing against a slate of talented squads hailing from all divisions, the UC San Diego track and field teams closed out the 2013 Cal-Nevada Championships with strong showings on both sides at Triton Track & Field Stadium on Saturday.
"We're pretty excited," said UCSD men's head coach Tony Salerno about his team's overall performance and about hosting the meet. "We got out of this meet what we thought we'd get."
The event also gave UCSD the opportunity to showcase its state-of-the-art video board while utilizing it to its full potential. Salerno, on behalf of UCSD, received praise from multiple schools throughout the weekend regarding the impact it brought to the competition.
"It's one thing all the coaches said when they walked in here; it just electrifies the stadium," Salerno said. "It just adds energy, and it's something that's intangible but you can see it in results somehow. The athletes perform better."
In the 20th running of the meet, the men scored points in six events on the second day to finish seventh overall out of 21 scoring teams with 45 points altogether, whereas the women took 10th out of 22 scoring teams with 32.5 total points. Both the men and women finished one slot higher than they did at the end of last year’s running of the meet.
Juniors Benjamin Berthet and Clint Rosser tied for fourth in the men’s pole vault, where they cleared a height of 15’5”. In the javelin, sophomore Nash Howe continued to add to the Tritons’ total with a fifth-place finish after throwing a length of 207’6”.
Senior Anthony Heredia had the best showing among the four track events the UCSD men contributed at least a point. Heredia finished fourth in the 1500-meter run after crossing the finish line in 3:57.36.
Sophomore Keith Rose climbed three slots in the final of the 100, sprinting to a time of 10.81 to place sixth. Rose advanced to the finals with his ninth-place showing in the prelims on Friday (10.87).
Rose also ran the closing leg of UCSD’s 4x100 relay team. The Triton quartet of freshman Anthony Wang, senior Quentin McWhorter, sophomore Jeffrey Lim and Rose blazed their way to a time of 44.11 while earning ninth place overall.
Maneuvering his way to eighth place in the 3000 steeplechase was junior Mario Flores, who ended his race with a time of 9:38.13.
The women, who scored points in five events, had their share of remarkable showings. The jumping events are where the women were strongest.
Freshman Kristin Sato improved her NCAA provisional qualifying mark upon leaping a personal-best distance of 39’6” to earn fourth place in the triple jump. Sato’s performance marked the highest finish on the day for the UCSD women and the third-longest jump in school history for that event. Sophomore Chantia Justice (38’2”, 10th) was not far behind.
Freshman Julia Wildenthaler successfully glided over the bar in the high jump with a height of 5’2.25” to place seventh.
On the track, junior Lauren Irish had a pair of seventh-place finishes. One of those came in the final of the 400 hurdles, where she recorded a time of 1:03.76. This preceded the 4x400 relay, where she ran the final leg and stopped the clock at 3:50.91. The foursome of sophomore Sabrina Pimentel, sophomore Ellexi Snover, senior Chelsey Kamson and Irish turned in the eighth-fastest time in program history for that event.
Kamson additionally climbed in the all-time top 10 list of the 4x100 relay, representing the second leg. Senior Kathleen Hitchens, Kamson, Sato and freshman Amy Heins moved into No. 9 for that event with their time of 47.56 to earn eighth place overall.
Sacramento State won the meet on the men’s side with 154 points to fend off runner-up Long Beach State (146) and third-place UC Santa Barbara (129.5). For the women, San Diego State took the top slot with 166 points, while Nevada (136.5) settled for second and Sacramento State (109.5) came away with third.
Individually on the men’s side, sophomore Remontay McClain of Azusa Pacific was named Track Athlete of the Meet, senior Mitchell Haag of UCSB earned Field Athlete of the Meet and Hornets head coach Kathleen Raske was recognized as the Coach of the Meet. Junior Allison Reaser (SDSU), senior Deborah Amoah (Nevada) and head coach Shelia Burrell (SDSU) all earned those respective awards on the women’s side.
UCSD will be at two separate meets for their next competitions. Some Tritons will travel to the Sun Angel Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., which begins on Thursday at 10 a.m. Another contingent of UCSD student-athletes will compete at the Mangrum Invitational, hosted by Cal State San Marcos, which will start on Saturday at 10 a.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --