ALLENDALE, Mich. - Sabrina Pimentel advanced to the final in the 800 meters and Dan Golubovic finished strong in the decathlon for UC San Diego on day two of the 2014 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Grand Valley State University Track & Field Stadium Friday.
The three-day meet is being co-hosted by GVSU and the West Michigan Sports Commission. UCSD has a total of five student-athletes present at this year’s edition.
Pimentel, a junior All-American out of Westminster (Westminster HS), ran just off of her school-record pace, timing 2:09.31, eighth-fastest for preliminaries on the day. She had entered as the No. 10 seed out of 22 participants with her school-record mark of 2:09.07 from the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., on April 12.
Running in the first of three heats, Pimentel was in third for a majority of Friday’s race, moving up to second briefly heading into the home stretch before settling for third. The top two finishers in each heat advanced automatically on to the final. Pimentel’s mark was second-fastest among remaining at-large competitors, moving her into the nine-runner field for Saturday’s final at 4:05 p.m. PT.
Pimentel was seeded 13th a year ago in the 800 and also turned in the eighth-best prelim time (2:11.46) as third in her heat, before producing a ninth-place effort in finals (2:13.35) and narrowly missing out on a top-eight All-America spot. She was an All-American in the 4x400 relay as a freshman in 2012.
Golubovic, a redshirt freshman at his very first nationals, moved up from 16th at the midway point through Thursday’s five events, to 12th out of 16 competitors with 6616 points. Chico State’s J Patrick Smith won the national title with a total of 7645 points, just ahead of teammate and fellow senior Theodore Elsenbaumer (7438).
Golubovic began his morning by winning the second of four four-person heats of the 110-meter hurdles in a personal-record time of 15.20, which put him eighth overall and gained him 825 points. His previous best in the event was 15.47.
The Manhattan Beach native out of Mira Costa High School then also extended his lifetime best in taking the top spot in the discus with a distance of 144’7” on his final one of three tosses. Golubovic had gone 133’9” with his first attempt before fouling the second and unleashing the PR on his last try to vault from third to first and notch 748 big points. Elsenbaumer was closest at 140’4”. Golubovic had a prior personal record of 138’5” from the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships at home on May 2.
Next up in the pole vault, Golubovic placed fourth after reaching a height of 15’1”. He improved on each of his three javelin throws, topping out at 152’6” for ninth, and was 11th in the 1500 in 4:55.86 to round out his meet.
The NCAA Championships conclude on Saturday, May 24. UCSD All-American Nash Howe and fellow junior Anthony Capitulo compete in the javelin at 8 a.m. PT as the top seed and 20th, respectively, out of 20 qualifiers. Howe will be looking to improve on his seventh-place finish from a year ago, with Capitulo, a junior transfer out of College of San Mateo, set for his NCAA Championships debut. Live coverage of Pimentel in the final of the 800 meters at 4:05 p.m. PT is available on NCAA.com.