ALLENDALE, Mich. - UC San Diego juniors Nash Howe and Sabrina Pimentel each earned All-America distinction for the second time in their careers on the third and final day of the 2014 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Grand Valley State University Track & Field Stadium Saturday.
The meet was co-hosted by GVSU and the West Michigan Sports Commission. UCSD had a total of five student-athletes present.
Howe, out of Aptos (Aptos HS), placed sixth in the javelin, the first event of Saturday’s slate. Pimentel, a Westminster native (Westminster HS), later crossed the finish line in eighth in the final of the 800 meters. The Triton duo had previous top-eight efforts at nationals of seventh for Howe in the javelin a year ago, and seventh for Pimentel in the 4x400 relay as a freshman in 2012, both in Pueblo, Colo.
Howe’s initial toss was his best, achieving a distance of 211’0”. That mark was good enough to gain him three final attempts after his preliminary three. Howe had entered as the narrow top seed with his personal-record heave of 229’3” from the San Diego Collegiate Challenge at home on March 15.
Alaska Anchorage junior Franz Burghagen, the No. 2 seed just behind Howe, finished second (222’7”) behind Slippery Rock sophomore David Reinhardt (225’10”). Howe, the two-time reigning California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) javelin champion, was second behind Burghagen after the first of two flights, and fifth after the second flight, with the top nine heading into finals. He was unable to improve on that first toss over his final three, while CCAA foe Matthew Horsfall of Humboldt State eclipsed him with a 216’7” on his fifth try.
Junior teammate Anthony Capitulo, a transfer from College of San Mateo, improved three spots on his No. 20 seed (201’2”) out of 20 javelin competitors in all, and finished 17th with a mark of 192’6”. That distance came on the second of his three attempts.
Pimentel timed 2:11.02 and stayed put having posted the eighth-fastest preliminary time of 2:09.31 on Friday. She led around the midway mark Saturday before falling back. It was redemption for Pimentel, who was in the same position a year ago in Colorado and placed ninth (2:13.35) in the final to miss out on All-America. She entered this meet as the No. 10 seed out of 22 racers, on the strength of her school-record mark of 2:09.07. Seattle Pacific senior McKayla Fricker won in 2:06.18.