LOS ANGELES -
After a impressive final day of competition, the UC San Diego track and field teams posted a pair of top-three finishes at the 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships on Saturday on the campus of Cal State L.A.
The Triton women scored a total of 146.5 points in 21 events to finish in second place for the third consecutive season, while the men tallied 114 points and moved up two spots to finish third for the second year in a row.
UCSD captured a total of five first place finishes on Saturday, with the women winning three events and the men claiming two CCAA titles. In addition, senior Jacqueline Rose was named the Track Athlete of the Year and rookie Sabrina Pimentel took home CCAA Freshman of the Year accolades on the women's side, while senior Nick Howe was tabbed the Co-Field Athlete of the Year for the Tritons in the men's competition.
"You always want more when you don't finish at the very top but we couldn't have asked much more out of our athletes," women's head coach Darcy Ahner said. "They really rose to the occasion and competed extremely hard. I am continually impressed with how this team competes in the CCAA Championships year in and year out."
Rose was one of many standouts for the Tritons on Saturday, winning the CCAA Championship in both the 200 and 400-meter dashes. The San Jose native clocked in at 23.96 in the 200 - a figure that ranks No. 2 all-time at UCSD - and posted a winning time of 54.70 in the 400. She finished sixth in the 100 at 12.35.
Rose also contributed to a first place finish in the women's 4x400 relay (3:44.84) along with Pimentel, Lauren Irish and Deyna Roberson and teamed with Kathleen Hitchens, Caitlin Meagher and Chelsey Kamson to finish third in the 4x100 (47.14).
Pimentel's top rookie nod came largely on the strength of her performance in the 800, as the Westminster native finished second with an impressive time of 2:16.52. Cal State L.A.'s Valerie Sanchez had the top time at 2:14.13, while fellow Tritons Lorato Anderson and Kamilah Foley finished fifth and sixth with respective times of 2:19.32 and 2:21.19.
Junior Jessica Miklaski finished second in the javelin with a big toss of 138'11", while sophomore Aletha Vassilakis was fourth at 131'5".
In addition to her 4x100 exploits, Meagher finished second in both hurdle events, clocking in at 14.27 in the 100-meters and 61.73 in the 400-meters. UCSD had four of the top six times in the longer event as Irish (61.83), Roberson (63.50) and Raquel Ormsby (63.74) finished fourth through sixth, respectively.
Freshman Veronica Bradley finished third in the high jump after clearing 5'3", while senior Erin Langford was third in the triple jump with a leap of 37'6". Teammate Chantia Justice was ninth at 36'0.25".
On the men's side, Howe won his fourth consecutive CCAA Championship in the javelin after uncorking a big throw of 219'10. The toss was four inches shy of his winning mark from a year ago, but still well in front of the rest of the field. Teammate and younger brother Nash Howe took second place with a mark of 199'1".
Senior Ka Wai Ng won his first-career conference crown after placing first in the triple jump with a leap of 50'5.5". His mark surpassed his own school record of 49'6.5" in the event. Sophomore Quentin McWhorter finished fourth at 47'5.25", a figure that ranks fourth all-time.
The Tritons racked up big points in the men's discus competition as Zach Nagengast, Dane Sandifer and Matt Endler finished second, fourth and sixth in the event. Nagengast turned in a mark of 154'1", while Sandifer's best throw was 152'6" and Endler hit 147'8".
Senior Dustin Harris finished third in the 800 with a final time of 1:54.20, while freshman Andrew Herbold placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at 54.85. Fellow rookie Keith Rose finished fifth in the 100 and fourth in the 200 with respective times of 10.85 and 21.59.
Rose also teamed with Eric Vetter, Harris and Herbold to finish third in the men's 4x400 relay with a final time of 3:17.74.
Chico State was once again the team to beat as the Wildcats swept both the men's and women's competitions for the third consecutive season. The Chico men finished with a total of 198.5 points en route to the program's ninth consecutive title, while the women tallied 154.5 to earn the CCAA crown for the third straight season. The Wildcat women ended the Tritons' five-year reign with a narrow victory in La Jolla in 2010 and haven't looked back.
UCSD finished just eight points behind CSUC in the final team standings on the women's side, wrapping up with an even slimmer 2.5-point edge over third place Cal State L.A. San Francisco State scored 105 points to finish fourth, followed by Cal State Stanislaus (90), Cal Poly Pomona (76), Cal State Dominguez Hills (62) and Humboldt State (38).
Cal State L.A. finished second on the men's side with 192 points, securing a final 78-point cushion over UCSD. Cal Poly Pomona was fourth with 109.5 points, followed by Cal State Stanislaus in fifth with 109 and Humboldt State in sixth with 88.
The Tritons will return to Jesse Owens Track next weekend for the Cal State L.A. Last Chance Qualifier, which will be their final tune up before the NCAA Championships May 24-26 in Pueblo, Colo.