LA JOLLA, Calif. - The annual Triton Invitational concluded Saturday at Triton Track & Field Stadium on the campus of UC San Diego with over 1000 competitors in action, including numerous Olympians and Olympic hopefuls from around the world.
Ashton Eaton, the reigning Olympic and world decathlon champion and decathlon world-record-holder, ran the 400-meter hurdles for the second time and went 50.01 to win the event over fellow Olympians Chen Chieh (50.75) of Chinese Taipei and Isa Phillips (50.88) of Jamaica. He had turned in an identical debut mark of 50.01 to place fourth at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut exactly one week prior.
Highlights for the Tritons included an NCAA provisional mark for the first time this season in the women’s 4x400 relay, with Sabrina Pimentel, Marisa Padilla, Lauren Lopez and Lauren Irish combining to go 3:48.50 and get under the 3:49.00 standard. The foursome placed fourth.
Sophomore Kristin Sato was an individual event winner in the triple jump, stretching out her existing NCAA provisional to a season-best 39’3”.
True freshman Markus Woods ran 53.88 for the first provisional qualifying mark of his college career in the 400-meter hurdles. The time to beat was 54.00, with Woods previously at 54.18 this season as a Triton. He crossed second in the second of four heats, just behind Central Arizona College’s Wellington Zaza (53.77).
Former Triton national champion Sonali Merrill, like Eaton a 2012 Olympian for her native Sri Lanka, won the women’s 400 hurdles by over two full seconds as the only competitor under one minute, at 59.76.
Current Tritons Corinne Hinkle (4:39.56), Paige Hughes (4:44.31) and Anneke Kakebeen (4:53.75) all posted personal bests in the 1500, with senior Ximena Cruz Ocampo running a season-best 5:02.08. Hughes and Kakebeen won the second and third of four sections, respectively.
Sophomore Tareq Alwafai went a personal-record 4:01.31 in the men’s 1500, with Ella Verhees (2:15.88) and Raélene deArmas (2:18.15) producing their fastest-ever times in the 800. Verhees was first in the third of six sections. Senior Kellen Levy was third overall in the 1500 (3:55.52).
Alia Bales (18:11.81) put forth nearly a 44-second improvement on her best in the 5000 at the end of the day, finishing eighth.
Keith Rose was fourth in the 200 (21.73) and seventh in the 100 (10.84). The junior also anchored the 4x100 relay to a season-best 41.92 after Emmanuel Elijah, Derek Van de Streek and David Guinasso. Van de Streek was fourth in the 400 (49.48).
Former UCSD national champion Nick Howe wound up fourth in the javelin with a distance of 246’5”.
UCSD hosts its fifth and final meet of the 2014 season in the coming week, with Triton Track & Field Stadium the site of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships for the first time since 2010. The conference meet takes place Thursday through Saturday, May 1-3.