CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The UC San Diego women's track & field team sits in eighth place after day one of the 2007 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships that are being held at the Irwin Belk Complex on the Johnson C. Smith University campus in Charlotte. The championships continue on Friday and will conclude on Saturday evening.
Whitney Johnson scored all six of the Tritons' points on day one, finishing third in the long jump with her best leap of 19' 3.25". The distance was just more than two inches shorter of her best jump this season. Kwoyna Ferguson of St. Augustine's won the National Championship in the event with her leap of 19' 9.5" while Zolymar Febles of PR Rio Piedras finished second in the event with her best jump of 19' 7.5".
The women's 4x100 relay team, comprised of Amber Green, Katie Skorupa, Christine Merrill and Laiah Blue competed in the preliminaries on Thursday, finishing sixth in heat two with a time of 47.15 seconds. St. Augustine's won the heat and posted the best time of the 12 teams in the prelims, breaking the tape in a time of 44.85 seconds.
Blue and Merrill each raced in heat one of the 400 meter hurdles with Blue finishing second and Merrill fifth. Blue's time of 60.05 seconds was the fourth fastest time of the three heats and was good enough to advance on to Saturday's final. Merrill's time of 61.97 was the 12th fastest time, leaving her on the outside looking in as only the top eight advanced to the finals.
Diane Dunn competed in the 3000 meter preliminaries on Thursday as well, advancing on to Friday's final with her time of 10:03.44 in heat two. Her time was the fourth fastest in the heat and the eighth fastest overall on the day.
Head coach Tony Salerno will have several athletes back in action on Friday with only two competing in a finals. Johnson will take part in the triple jump where she enters with the second best mark in the country while Dunn will compete in the finals of the 3000 meters. Also on tap for the Tritons will be the preliminaries for the 4x400 relay team, the 100 meter hurdles and the 5000 meters.