NEW ORLEANS - Six men and four women of the UC San Diego track and field team were honored with a selection to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region Team for the 2012-13 school year in NCAA Division II. The announcement was made Friday.
In all, 1,283 student-athletes, including 613 on the women’s side and 670 for the men, received a cumulative 1,836 USTFCCCA All-Region honors. These student-athletes all finished within their respective region either among the top five in their individual event or within the top three in a relay competition.
Freshman Sean Cook leaped to a tie for ninth on UCSD’s all-time top 10 list with a mark of 6’6.75” in the men’s high jump, which he earned at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on April 13 in a third-place showing. Cook had a share of the fifth slot in the region.
Senior Ryan Eckert earned his accolade in the shot put for the second year in a row, hitting a personal-best distance of 54’2.75” at the Azusa Pacific Last Chance Qualifier on May 11 to nab an NCAA provisional qualifier mark in a runner-up finish. Eckert moved to third on the Tritons’ all-time top 10 for that event, and ended the season with the third-best throw among student-athletes in the West Region.
As UCSD’s sole automatic qualifier this season in the javelin, sophomore Nash Howe was a virtual lock for an all-region award. Howe booked his ticket to the NCAA Championships upon throwing a career-best distance of 221’4” at the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Track & Field Championships on May 4 in Turlock to win the competition. The Aptos native strengthened his position at No. 2 in school history for that specialty and will compete at the NCAA Championships seeded fifth overall and fourth in his region.
Though he exceeded the provisional minimum in two events during the 2013 season, senior Zach Nagengast made the all-region team in the discus for the second straight year. Nagengast led the Tritons this season with a season-best 169’4” at the Triton Invitational on April 27 to place 14th overall. At that length, Nagengast had the region’s top mark, which ranked 25th nationally and third on UCSD’s all-time top 10 list.
Junior Clint Rosser, who climbed to No. 3 on UCSD’s list for the pole vault, finished the regular season with a personal-best height of 16’3.5” to win the competition at the Azusa Pacific Last Chance Qualifier on May 11. Just as he had a share of the 19th and last slot to reach the NCAA Championships, Rosser also finished in the fifth and final slot within the region.
Senior A.B. Shaheen, the Lebanese national leader in the hammer throw, made the USTFCCCA All-Region Team as well. Shaheen recorded a winning measurement of 191’8” at the Soka Peace Invitational on April 19 and clinched the third-longest throw in program history for his concentration. In addition, the mark was second among throwers from the West Region this season.
In the women’s discus, Uchenna Agbahiwe earned all-region honors on account of her career-best throw on May 11 of 147’4” at the Azusa Pacific Last Chance Qualifier to finish fifth among the competition. Agbahiwe honed her grasp of the No. 8 slot on the Tritons’ all-time top 10 for that event. The Bellflower native finished 31st in the nation for the discus and fifth in the region.
Ranking fourth for UCSD all-time and fifth in the region this season in the shot put, junior Eva Isaacs led the Tritons in that event with a toss of 43’3.25”. Isaacs hit that distance in a first-place finish at the Soka Peace Invitational on April 20.
Sophomore Chantia Justice and freshman Kristin Sato both added all-region accolades to their collections in the triple jump. Justice leaped a length of 39’5.75” to win at the San Diego Collegiate Challenge on March 9. Justice’s jump was good enough for a provisional qualifier and is fourth on UCSD’s top 10 list for that specialty. The mark also gave Justice, who had the 24th-longest leap in the nation at the Division II level this season, the last slot of the all-region team for the triple jump.
Sato, who tied for 22nd nationally and occupied the No. 4 position in the region for the triple jump, had her best jump of the season of 39’6” in a fourth-place showing at the Cal-Nevada Championships on March 30. The distance was the best among Tritons in 2013 and ranks third in school history.
Howe, Rosser, Shaheen and Sato will join fifth-year senior Kiley Libuit, senior Jessica Miklaski and sophomore Sabrina Pimentel at the NCAA Championships on Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25, in Pueblo, Colo.
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