EMPORIA, Kan. – The UC San Diego women finished 18th while the men finished 33rd at the 2006 NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships on the final day of action in Emporia, Kansas. The Tritons had four women and two men secure All-America honors on Saturday.
Abilene Christian won the men’s title with 80 team points while Lincoln won the women’s crown with 93 points. UCSD’s women finished the meet with 13 points while the men tallied eight.
Senior Briana Hinga was the first UCSD student-athlete to earn All-America honors, finishing third in the women’s javelin throw. She established a new school record with her mark of 159’01”, bettering her own previous best by nearly eight full feet. She was only 15 inches behind the winning mark of 160’04” by Holly Noller of Southern Illinois.
Sophomore Laiah Blue was the next Triton to earn All-American status, finishing fifth in the 100 meter hurdles with her time of 13.88 seconds. That time was only .02 behind her school-record time that was established in the preliminaries on Friday evening. Lynnsey Dailey of Fort Valley State won the event with her time of 13.46 seconds.
UCSD senior Mimi Hodgins earned another All-America honor to go with her Cross Country accolade from earlier in the year, finishing seventh in the 800 meters with a time of 2:16.63. She earned two points for the Tritons in the event she finished as the National Runner-Up last year. Victoria Martinez of Adams State won the event with her time of 2:08.80.
Seniors Mike Cunningham and Jon Patton earned the only points for the UCSD men’s team, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 400 meter hurdles to earn eight total points. Cunningham earned All-America status with his time of 51.52 in the event to earn five points while Patton earned the same honor with his time of 51.99, earning three points. Alvin Miles of St. Augustine’s captured the individual title with his time of 50.94.
Sarah Hendy earned one point in the women’s discus for UCSD, finishing eighth with her distance of 147’01” in the event. Fellow freshman Jillian Sola finished 17th in the same event as her best throw of 131’06” was not good enough to advance out of the preliminary throws. The individual National Champion in the women’s discus was Cecilia Barnes of Cal State Bakersfield, winning the event with her mark of 183’08” which was over 26 feet better than second place.
Brad Libuit finished 16th in the men’s javelin with his best throw of 197’00”. That throw was three inches less than his best throw of the season of 200’00”, which qualified him for the national meet. Mark Liebl of South Dakota captured the individual title in the event with his mark of 221’01”.
Emily McGregor concluded UCSD’s participation in the National Championship, finishing 10th in the women’s 5000 meters with her time of 18:27.59. The sophomore was only 1.53 seconds out of ninth place, but a full 14 seconds out of All-American range. Mandi Zemba of Grand Valley State won the event with her time of 17:10.69.