WOMEN NAB SECOND CONSECUTIVE CCAA TRACK TITLE, MEN SECOND
It was a tour de force on its home grounds for the Women’s Track & Field team which captured its second consecutive CCAA Championship, Saturday, out-pointing runner-up Cal State L.A. in overwhelming fashion, 265.5-158...Meanwhile, the Triton men put up a ferocious fight before settling for second, 46 points behind repeat winner ChicoState.
The women led from virtually the opening gun, claiming seven individual and one relay victory...Senior Mimi Hodgins, after finishing third in Friday’s 3,000 m., came back to snag a pair of wins Saturday, taking the 1,500 (4:35.00) with teammate Diane Dunn second, and later defending her 800 crown in 2:13.77...In the latter, she turned back a serious challenge from Sonoma State’s April Montgomery at the top of the stretch to make it two straight conference crowns...Sophomore Emily McGregor methodically won the 5,000 (10:96.92) and junior Erin O’Donnell, running the distance for the first time, was a surprise champ in the 10,000 (37:33.64) as UCSD accumulated 78 points in the distance events alone...Other individual gold medalists for the Tritons were senior Briana Hinga, who broke her own school record in the javelin (151-11), junior Madeleine Flint, who cleared a UCSD best of 12-0.5 in the pole vault and sophomore Laiah Blue who won the 100 hurdles in 14.06 after setting a school mark of 13.87 in the prelims...Blue was also second in the 400 hurdles (62.45)...Junior sprinter Elisa Holiday had a big weekend, scoring in three events, the 100, 200 and long jump and UCSD had three point scorers in all of the throwing events...The 4x400 relay team of Sandy Schaefer, Katie Skorupa, Holiday and Amber Green ran to a first place time of 3:50.88 while the 4x100 unit of Green, Skorupa, Holiday and Blue set a new UCSD standard while finishing second in 47.52.
On the men’s side, the Tritons accounted for three individual titles and a relay win...They won both hurdles races, courtesy of seniors Jon Patton (110 HH/14.68) and Mike Cunningham (400 IH/51.68)...Patton nipped his teammate in the final strides of the shorter race and came back to run second in the 200 (21.72) after breaking his own schoolrecord with a 21.64 in the prelims...Cunningham, meanwhile, was also third in the 400 (48.35) and teamed with Patton, Matt Borzage and Todd Bettisworth for a silver medal finish in the 4x400 relay (3:14.02)...UCSD’s other individual winner came in the triple jump where freshman Scott Tsuda landed at a school record 48-2.5...Borzage anchored Matt Maybeno, Patton and Peiman Lahsaei to a somewhat surprising victory in the 4x100 relay, clocking a school record 41.43...The Tritons turned in three other runner-up performances...Two were recorded by versatile senior Brad Libuit who went a school record 10.80 in the 100, cleared 6-9 in the high jump and also finished fourth in the javelin (180-10)...The other came in the 3,000 steeplechase where senior Carl Lostrom ran (9:22.13).
A select group of athletes will compete in this weekend’s Occidental Invitational, hoping to post an NCAA Division II Championship qualifying mark...The NCAA Championships are slated for May 25-27 in Emporia, KS...Based on last year’s qualifying standards, Head Coach Tony Salerno, who was named the 2006 CCAA Coach of the Year on the women’s side Saturday, figures he has nine women and four men in good position to go to nationals.
BASEBALL ON EIGHT-GAME TEAR HEADING INTO POST-SEASON
Riding an eight-game winning streak after sweeping its four-game regular season-ending series against Cal State Monterey Bay, Coach Dan O’Brien’s Baseball team will play in the CCAA Championship Tournament for the third year in a row...The defending conference champion Tritons (34-22/23-13 CCAA) will be seeded second in the four-team double elimination event being hosted at Cal State L.A. and will open up Thursdayagainst second-seeded Cal State L.A. at 7:00 PM.
Freshman first baseman Matt Cantele capped a big day by hitting a two-out, walk-off home run that lifted UCSD to a 5-4 victory over CSU Monterey Bay in Friday’s series opener...On the day, Cantele ripped three hits, scored twice and drove in four...Jose Navarro got the start and tossed six solid innings but it was fellow senior Byron Grubman, coming on in relief, who set a UCSD record by picking up his 24th career win...Both clubs had 10 hits in a game that was tight all the way with the Otters tying it at four in the top of the ninth to set the stage for Cantele’s bomb...Center fielder Damian Fante, DH Scott Clement and second baseman Garrett Imeson each contributed two hits.
The Tritons slugged 15 hits, including five doubles, and stole four bases while smacking the Otters, 9-2, in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader...Already up, 4-0, UCSD threw a five-run fourth at Monterey Bay that pretty much put things away...Freshman Jon Durket hurled five innings, striking out six, while collecting his third win...Fante had three hits and drove in a pair, while Cantele hit another homer, scored two and drove in two...The Tritons clubbed Monterey Bay, 10-1, in the nightcap, putting matters out of reach with a seven-run sixth inning...Fante, Imeson and Clement all had three hits with the latter blasting a home run and scoring three times...Freshman Trevor Decker gave up just one run in five-plus innings of work while picking up win No. 5 on the season.
On Senior Day, Sunday, UCSD burst out to an 8-0 lead and then held on for a 9-6 triumph...Iron man Grubman, pitching his final home game, recorded six shutout frames, notching career win No. 25...Clement homered, tripled and drove in three runs and third baseman Jonathan Erickson rapped three hits...Todd Gimenez, the Tritons’ fourth pitcher, got the save...Clement’s round tripper, his team-leading 15th gives the Tritons a all-time single season high of 58.
SOFTBALL GETS ONE WIN ON SEASON-ENDING ROAD TRIP
Coach Patti Gerckens’ Softball squad completed an up-and-down season with a 1-3 road trip to Northern California last week, ending any hopes it had for a post-season bid based on its strength of schedule...UCSD’s final overall record was 24-28 and the Tritons were 10-18 in the CCAA.
UCSD split Friday’s doubleheader at Sonoma State, falling, 4-2, in game one but rebounding to take a 10-8 decision in the nightcap...In the opener, the Sea Wolves erased a 2-1 Triton advantage with three sixth inning runs...Second baseman Dallas Hernandez had two hits, one a double, stole a base and drove in one of the UC runs...Gerckens’ club piled up nine runs in the first two innings and then withstood a Sonoma rally to capture game two...Sophomore third baseman Jenny Maze collected three of the Tritons’ 10 hits, including her seventh home run of the season...She scored a pair of runs and had two RBIs...SS Liz Vazquez also drove in two and both she and left fielder Randelle Bundy had two hits...Freshman Lauren Chastain, the beneficiary of UCSD’s explosive early offense, went five and a third in winning for the fifth time.
Offense was in short supply the next day as UCSD finished the 2006 campaign with a pair of losses (1-0, 3-2) at 20th-ranked San Francisco State...Sophomore Melissa Ward pitched a superb game in the opener, surrendering just four hits and striking out six, but was touched for the game’s lone run in the bottom of the seventh and ended up 14-13 for the year...The Tritons managed just three hits against 28-game winner Sonja Garnett...In game two, it was more of the same as Chastain tossed a six-inning four hitter and UCSD mustered only three hits...Four Gator errors helped UC push across a pair of runs, but again, it was a case of late-inning blues as SFSU scored twice in the sixth to overcome a 2-1 deficit....Vazquez (2) was the only Triton with multiple hits on the day.
MEN’S TENNIS IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
It’s on to Kansas City and the NCAA Division II Championships for the Men’s Tennis team which throttled Sonoma State, 5-0, in NCAA West Regional play Saturday at the North View Courts...This will be the third consecutive trip to the national championships for the 18th-ranked Tritons who are now 14-9...They open play in the round of 16 against No. 5 Lynn (FL) Wednesday.
Against SonomaState, Coach Eric Steidlmayer’s crew raced out to a 3-0 lead with Blake Meister-Erik Oijala, Brent Molden-Steve Oechel and Eric Rubens-Kazumi Negishi sweeping doubles...And after No. 6 Ramesh Thondapu and No. 3 Blake Meister blitzed their singles opponents, the Tritons had clinched the victory.
SEASON ENDS FOR WOMEN’S TENNIS IN HILO
Coach Liz LaPlante’s Women’s Tennis team saw its season end Thursday in Hawaii as the 18th-ranked Tritons fell, 5-4, to Hawaii-Hilo in the NCAA West Regional final...It was UCSD’s second, 5-4, loss to the 14th ranked Vulcans this year.
The Tritons got off to a good start, winning No. 2 (Marsha Malinow-Ina Dan) and No. 3 (Justine Fonte-Molly Sullens) doubles handily but Hilo scored a narrow win at No. 1 doubles to make it 2-1 heading into singles...The Vulcans collected straight set singles victories at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 but Sullens countered by winning a two-setter at No. 6...CCAA Freshman of the Year Ina Dan came back from a one-set deficit to win at No. 3, taking the decisive set, 7-5...That tied it up, but junior Kristin Bronowicki fell in three at No. 4 and the Tritons ended up a point short...UCSD finished 14-8 overall.
MEN’S CREW CLOSES SEASON ON EASTCOAST
Coach Mark Davis will send out three eights this weekend when the Men’s Crew team goes to Worcester, MA for the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships... The 24-team varsity race will feature heats on Saturday with semi-finals and finals on Sunday...The JV and novice competitions, both fielding 18 boats, will have heats and finals on Sunday...Among the top teams expected are Michigan and Virginia.
Filling out the varsity eight for Davis will be Daren VonPlaten, Gilbert Collins, Shawn Hay, Tyler Sutterley, Steven Oliver, Eric Murtfeldt, Brenden Carriker, stroke Joe Baker and coxswain Joe Gram.
WOMEN’S CREW AIMS FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP BID AT PCRC’S
Looking to qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships, Coach Pattie Pinkerton’s Women’s Crew team will send the varsity eight and varsity four to the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships (PCRC’s) on Sacramento’s Lake Natoma, Friday and Saturday...The event serves as the NCAA Regional qualifier and the Tritons will be matched up with defending national champ Western Washington, Humboldt State and Seattle Pacific...The winner goes to the NCAA Championships and the second place team may have a shot at an at-large berth.
GRANT, KRAMER REPRESENT UCSD IN SUPER REGIONAL
Playing as individuals, seniors Justin Grant and Robbie Kramer finished 29th and 44th respectively at the NCAA Division II Golf Super Regional last week at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, AZ.
The left-handed Grant fired a 76-73-75---224, coming in 20 strokes behind medalist Shane Prante of St. Martin’s.