EMPORIA, Kan. – The UC San Diego men’s and women’s track & field squads began day one of the NCAA Division II Championships on Thursday in Emporia, Kansas. The Tritons had five student-athletes in action on the first day with two advancing on to the finals of their competition on Saturday evening.
Seniors Jon Patton and Mike Cunningham each assured themselves of All-America status as both qualified for the finals of the 400 meter hurdles on Saturday with solid times. Both hurdlers competed in heat three with Patton finishing second and Cunningham third. Patton’s time of 51.56 was the sixth fastest time of the day while Cunningham’s mark of 51.68 was the eighth fastest.
Sophomore Laiah Blue competed in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, finishing sixth in heat two with a time of 63.06, 2.5 seconds behind the eighth and final qualifying time in the event.
Senior Carl Lostrom had his UCSD career come to an end on Thursday, finishing eighth in heat one of the 3000 meter steeplechase. His time of 9:53.68 was the 16th fastest time of the day. Only the top 12 times advanced to the finals on Saturday.
Sophomore Diane Dunn was the first Triton to compete on Thursday, placing fifth in heat two of the 1500 meters. Her time of 4:52.28 was the 13th fastest time on the day with only the top-12 advancing. She missed out on a spot in Saturday’s finals by half a second.
On day two of the D-II Track & Field Championships on Friday, UCSD will have representatives in six events. Day three will be the culmination of the Championships on Saturday evening in Emporia.