ALISO VIEJO, Calif. -
Looking to hone their skills before next weekend's Triton Invitational, the UC San Diego track and field teams took part in the 2011 Soka Peace Invitational on Friday and Saturday and collected several individual victories against competitors from all over Southern California.
UCSD won a total of 11 events during the two-day competition, with the Triton women recording top marks in seven events and the men posting victories in four. In addition, three student-athletes earned NCAA provisional qualifying marks.
"It was a good day for us," men's head coach Tony Salerno said when the meet was all said and done. "We added a few more national qualifiers in what is really a low key meet for us. The conditions were ideal after several cold and wet meets the past few weeks and the track at Soka is one of the fastest in the Southwest. We really couldn't help but run fast."
The meet got off to rousing start for the Tritons on Friday as junior AB Shaheen won the men's hammer throw with a solid toss of 183'7". He not only recorded an NCAA provisional qualifier with his performance, but also set a new Lebanese national record, as the Trabuco Canyon native is a dual U.S. and Lebanese citizen. His toss ranks sixth all-time at UC San Diego.
UCSD's other two NCAA qualifiers came in the 400 hurdles, as Deyna Roberson and Lauren Irish collected pro marks in the event. Roberson finished second with a time of 1:02.14, while Irish was third at 1:02.34. Point Loma's Victoria Anderson had the top time at 1:01.40.
The Triton women recorded three individual victories on the track as Kelly Fogarty won the 100 (11.68), Jacqueline Rose placed first in the 400 (56.38) and Caitlin Meagher posted the top time in the 100 hurdles (14.79).
Bailey Weaver, Kathleen Hitchens, Rose and Fogarty teamed to win the women's 4x100 relay with a time of 47.18.
Erin Langford earned a victory for the jumps team with a leap of 37'4" in the triple jump, while Danielle Thu and Shana Emile recorded wins in throwing events. Thu won the discus with a toss of 139'6" and Emile captured first place in the hammer with a mark of 146'1".
Clint Rosser was one of four individual event winners for UCSD on the men's side, clearing 15'1" to best the field in the pole vault.
The Triton men were dominant in the throwing events, as Ryan Eckert and Zach Nagengast joined Shaheen on the podium. Eckert took first place in the shot put with a toss of 49'5", while Nagengast won the discus at 156'6".
Women's head coach Darcy Ahner thought the meet served as a nice tune-up for the bigger meets on the schedule in the next few weeks.
"This weekend's meet set us up perfectly for the Triton Invitational next week and CCAA Championships a few weeks later," she said. "We were really able to work on a few things and improve in a few key areas and that was the goal."
The annual UCSD Triton Invitational will be held next Friday and Saturday at the Triton Track and Field Stadium on campus. Entries can be made at directathletics.com through this Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.
For more information on the Triton Invitational, click here.