TURLOCK, Calif. -
Five of UC San Diego's 11 student-athletes that qualified for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships were in action on Thursday, as the three-day event got underway at the Al Brenda Track Complex on the campus of Cal State Stanislaus.
Senior Stephanie LeFever
is currently in third place in the heptathlon with a total of 3,173 points through four events. She finished third in both the 100 hurdles (14.24) and 200-meter dash (25.45), while placing fifth in the high jump (5'5") and eighth in the shot put (35'8").
LeFever, who scored a career-best 5,282 points in the hep at the CCAA Championships earlier this month, trails leader Lindsay Lettow of Central Missouri by just 241 points entering the final three events on Friday.
After competing in the heptathlon earlier in the day, LeFever also took part in the women's long jump and had enough left in the tank to finish second overall in the finals of the event. In her final jump of the night, the Aptos, Calif. native came down with a mark of 20'3.5", which not only gave her the silver medal, but set a new school record, as well (she held the previous mark of 20'1").
Jillisa Grant of New Mexico Highlands won the event with a tremendous leap of 20'10.5".
Redshirt senior Danielle Thu was the other Triton to compete in a final on Thursday, finishing fourth overall in the women's hammer throw. She finished with a mark of 182'9", which was roughly 11 inches shy of Grand Valley State's Liz Murphy, who captured first place at 193'11".
The 2009 NCAA National Champion in the hammer, Thu graduates as a two-time All-American and the school record holder in the event (198'8").
Senior Kelly Fogarty had a strong start to the Championships, qualifying for the finals in the 100-meter dash. She finished sixth overall in preliminaries with a time of 11.59 and will now look to qualify in the 200 on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
The finals for the two sprint events are scheduled for 7:15 and 8:15 on Saturday night, respectively.
Junior Caitlin Meagher failed to qualify in the 400 hurdles after finishing 12th overall with a preliminary time of 1:01.8, but she'll have another opportunity to run on Friday when she competes with UCSD's 4x400 relay team at 8:20 p.m. Meagher will be joined by teammates Lauren Irish, Jacqueline Rose and Deyna Roberson in the prelims.
Senior Jesse Morrill was the lone representative competing for the Tritons on the men's side Thurday and ran in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Huntington Beach native finished 14th overall at 9:14.63, failing to advance to Friday's final.
A total of six national champions were crowned on Thursday, with finals in five more events slated for Friday. For a complete schedule of events, click here.