INDIANAPOLIS - UC San Diego will send a combined men’s and women’s contingent of six student-athletes to the 2013 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, with the full field of participants announced Tuesday.
The NCAA Championships will be held for the second straight year at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl in Pueblo, Colo., and are hosted by Colorado State University-Pueblo. The three-day meet runs Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25. This year, the meet will field 377 men and 377 women for a combined total of 754 student-athletes.
Triton head coaches Tony Salerno and Darcy Ahner qualified four men in three field competitions and two women for two events into the meet, led by Nash Howe. The sophomore javelin thrower achieved the lone automatic qualifying mark for UCSD this season with his winning distance of 221’4”, the second-longest all-time for UCSD, at the 2013 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Track & Field Championships in Turlock on May 4.
Howe will compete in Pueblo on the final day of the NCAA Championships, May 25. The men’s javelin starts off the competition that afternoon at 11:15 a.m. PDT.
Joining Howe in the javelin will be fifth-year senior Kiley Libuit, who had a top throw this season of 198’4” in his ninth-place showing during the Triton Invitational on April 27. Libuit earned the 20th and final seed of the competition. The Saint Francis High School alumnus has the fourth-longest distance in program history, 199'11", which he recorded in 2012 at the Cal-Nevada Championships in a fifth-place finish.
Also clinching the last slot in his specialty with a share of the 19th seed, junior Clint Rosser will be competing in the pole vault. Rosser took full advantage of the Azusa Pacific Last Chance Qualifier on May 11, winning the pole vault upon clearing a personal-best height of 16’3.5” while strengthening his standing at No. 3 on UCSD’s all-time top 10 list for that event. The Westchester native will take on Division II’s best in the third day of competition, May 25, at 1:30 p.m. PDT.
Headlining the Tritons in the hammer throw will be senior A.B. Shaheen. Already the Lebanese national record holder in his concentration, the 16th-seeded Shaheen will enter the NCAA Championships on the strength of his winning distance of 191’8” at the Soka Peace Invitational on April 19, while moving to third all-time among Tritons in that event. Shaheen will precede all other Tritons at the meet, contending in the first day of competition, May 23, at 11:30 a.m. PDT.
On the women’s side, sophomore Sabrina Pimentel will make her second trip to the NCAA Championships in as many years. Unlike last year, however, she will be competing on an individual basis. Pimentel, who had a lifetime-best time of 2:10.90 on April 13 at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational to finish second, will arrive at the starting blocks of the 800 as the No. 13 seed. Hailing from Winchester, Pimentel holds the second-fastest 800 in school history and will compete in that event’s prelims on Friday, May 24 at 5 p.m. PDT. If she places among the top eight, Pimentel will race in the finals on Saturday, May 25 at 5:55 p.m. PDT.
At last year’s NCAA Championships, Pimentel ran the opening leg of the 4x400 relay in a quartet that included junior Lauren Irish and then-seniors Deyna Roberson and Jacqueline Rose in that order. The Triton foursome finished third in the prelims with a UCSD-record time of 3:42.17 before settling for seventh in the finals with 3:45.17 showing on the clock to earn All-American status.
Rounding out the 2013 Triton contingent at the NCAA Championships will be senior Jessica Miklaski in the javelin. Miklaski, who took 10th at last season’s NCAA Championships after being seeded 17th initially (142’4”), will be seeded one slot higher this year at 16th. The Westview High School alumna eclipsed her mark at the last year’s nationals early on with a career-best length of 143’4”, which ranks fourth all-time among UCSD student-athletes, at the 17th Annual Rossi Relays in Claremont on Feb. 23 to win the competition.
Miklaski previously competed at the 2011 NCAA Championships, where she came in sixth after releasing the spear 143'2" to receive All-American recognition. Miklaski’s final meet as a Triton will kick off on Saturday, May 25 at 1:50 p.m.
The three-day meet will commence on Thursday, May 23 with the decathlon at 9:30 a.m. PDT.
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