at 35th Sun Angel Classic
Saturday, April 12 • 1 p.m.
Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium • Tempe, Ariz.
The UC San Diego track and field programs will split up for a pair of meets this Saturday, April 12. Thirteen Tritons travel to Arizona on Friday to take part in the 35th Sun Angel Classic, hosted by Arizona State University on the Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe. The larger UCSD contingent will bus to Claremont on Saturday morning for the 28th Pomona-Pitzer Invitational at Strehle Track on the Pomona College campus.
The Pomona-Pitzer Invitational begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Lorato Anderson (800), Lauren Irish (400 hurdles), Chantia Justice (triple jump), Haley Libuit (javelin), Sabrina Pimentel (800) and Kristin Sato (long jump, triple jump) for the women, and Benjamin Berthet (pole vault), Carlos Bojorquez (800), Anthony Capitulo (javelin), Sean Cook (long jump), Nash Howe (javelin), Clint Rosser (pole vault) and Jared Senese (800) on the men's side compete at the Sun Angel Classic Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
The UCSD men moved up five places from last year to finish a best-ever second at the 2014 Cal-Nevada Championships at home in La Jolla on April 5, while the women stepped up three slots from 2013 to claim seventh. Catalysts for the men were sophomore Carlos Bojorquez, who made a bold move on the final backstretch and held on to win the 1500 (3:55.18), and runner-up finishers Jared Senese (800/1:51.62), Keith Rose (100/10.71) and Nash Howe (javelin/214'8"). UCSD wound up 75.5 points behind team champion Long Beach State, but up the ladder from 2013 winner Sacramento State and system rivals UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. The Triton women chalked up 49 points, just 35 out of third and also had an individual winner, sophomore Paige Hughes, who ran away from the 10000 field in 37:04.59. Other notables were junior Sabrina Pimentel (800/2nd/2:12.73) and junior Anneke Kakebeen, who broke her own school mark in the 3000 steeplechase (11:14.13). San Diego State won the women’s crown for the fourth consecutive year.
A group of 11 Triton track and field athletes have hit NCAA qualifying marks this season. Nash Howe stands alone as the only automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships so far, throwing a distance of 229'3" in the javelin at the San Diego Collegiate Challenge. Sabrina Pimentel (800/2:13.16) earned her provisional at the Aztec Invitational, with Haley Libuit (javelin/135'11") improving her mark at that same meet. Chantia Justice and Kristin Sato each qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championships in the triple jump, with both Justice and Sato jumping a distance of 39'1" at the San Diego Collegiate Challenge. At the same meet, pole vaulter Clint Rosser hit his provisional qualifying mark of 15'11". At the All-Cal Championships, Carlos Bojorquez (1500/3:51.44) and Mario Flores (3000 steeplechase/9:23.16) earned provisional qualifying marks. Anthony Capitulo (javelin) threw a distance of 197'6" in his Triton debut at the Rossi Relays (2/22). Most recently, Anneke Kakebeen lowered her school record to 11:14.13 in the 3000 steeple and Jared Senese (1:51.62) also earned his pro mark at the Cal-Nevada meet.
The UCSD men are ranked No. 21 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll, down from No. 14 the previous week. The Triton women and men were listed No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in the season's initial outdoor listing on March 18, the highest ever for each program. Click here to view the week-by-week poll.
CCAA ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Paige Hughes on Monday became the second Triton to be named a CCAA Track & Field Athlete of the Week for the 2014 season. The recognition came on the heels of her first-place finish in the 10000 meters at the Cal-Nevada Championships in La Jolla on April 4. Previously, junior Nash Howe earned the distinction for the second time in his career on March 17, having increased his top mark for 2014 to a personal-record 229'3" in winning the javelin competition at the San Diego Collegiate Challenge on March 15.
AZTEC INVITATIONAL AFTERMATH
UCSD prepped for the Cal-Nevada Championships by running, jumping and throwing at the 36th Annual Aztec Invitational, March 28-29, across town at San Diego State. Sabrina Pimentel (third/800/2:13.16), Nash Howe (sixth/javelin/228'5"), Haley Libuit (sixth/javelin/135'11") and Clint Rosser (second/pole vault/15'9.75") hit NCAA provisional qualifying marks at the event. Among the other highlights was a fourth-place finish by Janay Pierce in the 100 (12.12), with the junior also anchoring a 4x100 relay that included Amy Heins, Erica Anunwah and Kristin Sato, to a third-place finish in 47.76.
WOMEN FIRST FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK
Prior to taking a break for finals, the UCSD women's track and field team took first place at the San Diego Collegiate Challenge. It was the second weekend in a row that UCSD's women won a meet. The women finished with 216.5 points, allowing them to finish ahead of crosstown foes San Diego State (205), as well as six other competing schools. The men's team also had an impressive showing, finishing second among five squads with a total of 201 points, right behind first-place Navy (213).
TRITON WOMEN WINNERS AS FIRST-TIME ALL-CAL HOSTS
In Triton Track & Field Stadium's first turn as host of the All-Cal Championships after previously being held in Irvine, the UCSD women (221 points) earned their first title over Division I fellow UC system schools UC Santa Barbara (189), UC Irvine (122) and UC Riverside (76) since back-to-back successes in 2008 and 2009. The Triton men (179) placed second behind UCSB (214). UCSD women won six of the 19 events, with the men adding five first-place efforts. In his 2014 debut, Nash Howe earned the lone automatic NCAA qualifier among Triton competitors, already booking his trip to Michigan in May with a first-place javelin toss of 218'10". Sophomore Haley Libuit won the javelin on the women's side with her first career provisional mark of a personal-best 135'2". Carlos Bojorquez (1500), Mario Flores (3000 steeple) and Chantia Justice (triple jump) also turned in provisionals.
ROSSI RELAYS REVIEW
UCSD had a strong showing at the Rossi Relays on Saturday, Feb. 22. Among many notable performances were three Tritons who became provisional qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. Returners Chantia Justice and Kristin Sato finished 2-3 in the triple jump with marks of 38'7.5" and 38'6.75", respectively. Junior newcomer Anthony Capitulo took first place in the javelin, throwing a distance of 197'6", putting him at No. 5 on the program's all-time list. The only other individual first-place finish for the Tritons was by true freshman Markus Woods, who clocked in at 55.89 in the 400 hurdles.
MARQUEE HOME SCHEDULE
UCSD hosts five meets at Triton Track & Field Stadium in La Jolla in 2014. Headlining the home schedule are the top two meets on the Tritons' annual calendar in the lead-up to the NCAA Championships, those being the Cal-Nevada Collegiate Championships, April 4-5, and the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships, May 1-3. This will mark the second straight year that UCSD hosts one of the premier college track and field events on the West Coast in the Cal-Nevada Championships. La Jolla awaits the CCAA meet for the first time since 2010.
HOWE TO THROW YOUR JAVELIN
For the sixth season in a row, the Triton men's javelin contingent will be led by a student-athlete with the last name of Howe. Nash Howe comes off of his All-America sophomore campaign as the seventh-place finisher at his first national meet and first-time champion at the conference level. He took over as the CCAA javelin champ for his older brother, Nick Howe, now in his second year as a volunteer assistant coach on the UCSD staff while he continues to train on campus toward an Olympic run for Rio 2016. Nick was a two-time national champion, three-time All-American and four-time CCAA champion from 2009-12. He holds the school javelin record at 231'3", with Nash chasing his older brother in second at 229'3". The younger Howe made his season debut in La Jolla at the All-Cal Championships on March 8, and immediately booked a second straight trip to the NCAA Championships with an automatic qualifier of 218'10". The Triton coaching staff is also preparing him for beyond, looking ahead to the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, June 26-29.
Sabrina Pimentel is in her junior season after two previous years of impressive performances. As a freshman, Pimentel achieved All-American status running the opening leg of the seventh-place 4x400 relay (3:45.17) after the Triton foursome ran to a school record-breaking time of 3:42.17 in prelims at the NCAA Championships, as well as becoming CCAA champion in the same event. Pimentel also put her name in the record books during her sophomore season (2013) in both the 400 and 800. With a time of 55.95, she garnered the third-fastest 400 in school history, and moved up to second on UCSD all-time top-10 list in the 800 (2:10.90). Her performance in the 800 qualified her for the NCAA Championsips where she finished ninth with a time of 2:13.35.
Senior Clint Rosser is coming off of an impressive junior season in the pole vault. In 2013, he won the pole vault at the Azusa Pacific Last Chance Qualifier, clearing a personal-best height of 16’3.5”. The mark, No. 3 all-time in program history, allowed the Westchester (Loyola HS) native to reach and compete in the NCAA Championships. Prior to that competition, Rosser earned the NCAA Elite 89 award for Division II men’s outdoor track and field for having the highest grade-point average (3.97 in environmental engineering) among athletes who made it to the NCAA Championships. He then moved 10 slots up form his No. 19 seed and narrowly missed out on becoming an All-American with a ninth-place showing (16'2.75").
SATO AND JUSTICE JUMPING TO THE TOP
Junior Chantia Justice and sophomore Kristin Sato excel for the Tritons in the jumps. In the 2013 season, Justice finished in the top-8 for both the high jump and the triple jump at the CCAA Championships. At the 2012 All-Cal Championships, Justice reached a mark of 5'1" in the high jump, giving her a fourth-place finish. During her freshman campaign, Sato had an impressive year, particularly in the long jump and the triple jump. At the CCAA Championships, Sato finished third in the long jump (17'9.4") and first in the triple jump (39'5.2"), contributing to her CCAA Freshman of the Year award. Sato's mark in the triple jump also qualified her for the NCAA Championships, where she finished 18th overall (38'8.75").
ROSE TO THE OCCASION
Junior sprinter Keith Rose is the school record-holder in both the 100 and 200 meters, and the reigning CCAA champion in the 100. He placed third in the 200 last season and led off the third-place 4x400 relay. Rose has broken the school mark in both individual sprints twice each. He broke the 100 standard in both prelims (10.71) and finals (10.62) at the 2013 CCAA Championships in Turlock last May. Rose first took over the 200 mark as a freshman (21.59) and lowered it in prelims (21.57) at the 2013 CCAA meet. He is the younger brother of former Triton All-American Jacqueline Rose (2009-12).
UCSD has three All-Americans on its 2014 roster. Junior Nash Howe earned All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the javelin a year ago in his debut at the NCAA Division II Championships. Junior Sabrina Pimentel and senior Lauren Irish are All-Americans from the 2012 season, when they made up half of UCSD's seventh-place 4x400 relay. Pimentel competed at the 2013 NCAA Championships as well, in the 800 meters. Remaining returners who made the 2013 NCAA field are senior pole vaulter Clint Rosser and sophomore Kristin Sato, the 2013 CCAA Freshman of the Year, in the triple jump. Pimentel and Rosser both fell narrowly short of All-America status with ninth-place finishes in their respective events.
RECENT CCAA HISTORY
UCSD is coming off of a fourth consecutive second-place finish at the CCAA Championships on the women's side, all behind Chico State. The Triton men have produced three successive third-place efforts, with Chico State now the 10-time defending league champion. UCSD was 11.33 points back of second-place Cal Poly Pomona in Turlock in 2013. Triton Track & Field Stadium will serve as host of the 2014 CCAA Championships. The Triton men and women both placed second behind Chico State the last time the meet was held in La Jolla in 2010. That runner-up showing, by a mere 2.83 points (212.33-209.5), snapped a run of five consecutive conference titles for the UCSD women.
FOUR CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
Nash Howe (javelin), Kellen Levy (10000), Keith Rose (100) and Kristin Sato (triple jump) are returning CCAA champions from 2013. All told, there are 14 Tritons on the 2014 roster who produced top-three finishes in at least one individual event at the 2013 CCAA Championships. They are Howe (1st, javelin), Levy (1st, 10000), Rose (1st, 100; 3rd, 200), Sato (1st, triple jump, 3rd, long jump), Lorato Anderson (2nd, 800), Megan Benham (3rd, pole vault), Veronica Bradley (tied 3rd, high jump), Sean Cook (2nd, long jump), Daniel Franz (2nd, steeplechase), Eva Isaacs (2nd, shot put), Chantia Justice (2nd, triple jump), Sabrina Pimentel (2nd, 400), Clint Rosser (3rd, pole vault) and Julia Wildenthaler (3rd, triple jump). Pimentel and Lauren Irish were on the third-place women's 4x400 relay, while Rose, Nate Ford and David Guinasso were part of the third-place men's 4x400.
CCAA FRESHMEN OF THE YEAR
UCSD swept the men's and women's CCAA Freshman of the Year awards a year ago, with rookie field standouts Sean Cook and Kristin Sato earning the distinctions. Sato won the triple jump and placed third in the long jump, while Cook was second in the long jump, sixth in the high jump and 11th in the triple jump. Sato went on to warrant a late addition to the NCAA field, where she placed 18th at her first nationals in the triple jump.
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Following this upcoming weekend, the UCSD track and field teams will again be at multiple venues next week. The Triton decathlon and heptathlon athletes will be at the California Invitational in Azusa, April 16-17, with the remainder of the squad going to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, April 17-19, or the Soka Peace Invitational in Aliso Viejo on April 19. The hammer and discus events of the latter meet take place in La Jolla on Friday, April 18.