LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UCSD men’s and women’s track and field teams are back in action this weekend. Distance runners from both squads will take part in the Ben Brown Invitational on Friday, March 9 in Walnut, while the full squads compete on Saturday, March 10, as the Tritons host competitors San Diego State, Point Loma, and Cal State San Marcos in the San Diego City Championships.
Last weekend, the Triton women finished second and the men finished third at the All-Cal Championships, hosted by Irvine. UCSD’s women fell just four points behind meet champion UC Santa Barbara as Laiah Blue and Whitney Johnson highlighted a big day on the women’s side with both claiming victory in two events. Blue finished first in both the 100 and 400 meter hurdles with her times of 14.05 and 61.47 seconds, respectively. Johnson took home first in both the long and triple jump events, leaping 19’1.50" in the long jump and 40’4.75" in the triple jump. Blue's 400 meter hurdles time and both of Johnson's jump marks set new school records.
Christine Merrill also posted a first place finish in the 200 meter dash, breaking the tape in a time of 25.26 seconds. Samantha Belvini finished first in the Javelin with her distance of 120’9". Diane Dunn, who will compete in both meets this weekend, finished second in the 1500 at the All-Cal Championships with a time of 4:36.89. Dunn also finished 2nd in the 3000 run at the Rossi Relays crossing the finish line in a time of 10:00.62 that assured her a trip to nationals in the event. On the men’s side, newcomers Khalil Hooper and Chris Yu posted victories for the Tritons during the All-Cal Championships. Hooper broke the tape in a time of 15.25 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles while Yu’s distance of 21’11.75" was good enough for first in the long jump. Dan Noel had a solid outing in the 400 hurdles at the event, finishing the race in a time of 54.61 seconds. Noel also turned in a strong performance at the Rossi Relays, finishing fifth in the 400 hurdles with a time of 55 seconds.
Scott Tsuda, last year’s CCAA Co-Freshman of the Year, turned in the best finish of any UCSD male athlete at the Rossi Relays, finishing third in the long jump with his distance of 22’4.25" and seventh in the triple jump with a distance of 46’4.50". Elliot Williamson also performed well at the Rossi Relays, finishing fourth in the shot put with a distance of 46’1.25".
Last year’s City Championship, again held at the Triton Track & Field Stadium, took place despite cold and rainy weather; however, the coaches of all schools involved decided not to have any points awarded during the meet so no winner was announced. Despite the lack of scoring, the Tritons still had a solid outing as the men won 13 events while the women captured four. J.C. Inauen won the 400 meter hurdles by more than a full second, Roger Francis finished first in the high jump and triple jump, Daniel Byrne won the men’s pole vault, Vince Tedjasaputra finished first in the hammer throw, and Tsuda was the winner of the long jump.
For the women, Sarah Hendy and Melissa Karnaze finished first in the discus and hammer throw, respectively.
Following this weekend's events, head coach Tony Salerno will lead the Triton men and women back into action on Saturday, March 17, at the San Diego State Aztec Invitational.