Photo by: Nick Feller/UCSD Athletics
Junior sprinter Keith Rose will get his 2014 campaign off and running Saturday in Claremont.
Track & Field Opens Ambitious 2014 Season at Rossi Relays
Release: Thursday 02/20/2014 

at 18th Annual Rossi Relays
Saturday, Feb. 22 • 11 a.m.
Burns Track & Field Complex • Claremont

The UC San Diego men's and women's track and field teams head to Claremont early Saturday morning, Feb. 22, to open their 2014 campaign at the 18th Annual Rossi Relays. The meet is hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at its Burns Track & Field Complex, with the first field event slated for an 11 a.m. start. Action on the track will get going at 1 p.m. This is the first weekend during which the Tritons can qualify student-athletes for the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships. A few qualifiers are expected, primarily in the field events, with several non-championship events being run on the track side in Claremont.

UCSD is coming off of a fourth consecutive second-place finish at the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships on the women's side, all behind Chico State. The Triton men have produced three successive third-place efforts, with Chico State now the 10-time defending league champion. UCSD was 11.33 points back of second-place Cal Poly Pomona in Turlock in 2013.

UCSD head coaches Darcy Ahner and Tony Salerno will look for solid performances at the Rossi Relays out of returners like senior distance runner Kellen Levy (3000 meters), junior sprinter Keith Rose (100 meters) and sophomore Kristin Sato (long jump, triple jump, 4x100). Two more Tritons to watch will be newcomers Anthony Capitulo in the javelin and Janay Pierce in the 100-meter dash and the 4x100 relay. Both are junior transfers, with Capitulo out of College of San Mateo and Pierce a San Diego native (University City HS) from UC Davis. Capitulo threw down a mark of over 200 feet at the Blue-Gold meet on Feb. 8.

“We have a pretty good crop of talented freshmen this year on both sides," said Salerno. "The 4x100 and 4x400 relays will tell us quite a bit about where we are at on the track. Both the men’s and women’s 4x400 relay teams have three talented freshmen joining Keith Rose on the men’s side and national qualifier Sabrina Pimentel on the women’s side.”

There is no team scoring at the Rossi Relays. No live results are available for this meet. Results will be available here following the meet, in addition, of course, to

UCSD will host five meets at Triton Track & Field Stadium in La Jolla in 2013-14. Headlining the home schedule are the top two meets on the Tritons' annual calendar in the lead-up to the NCAA Championships, those being the Cal-Nevada Collegiate Championships, April 4-5, and the 2014 CCAA Championships, May 1-3. This will mark the second straight year that UCSD will host one of the premier annual college track and field events on the West Coast in the Cal-Nevada Championships. The Tritons will play host to the CCAA meet for the first time since 2010.

For the sixth season in a row, the Triton men's javelin contingent will be led by a student-athlete with the last name of Howe. Nash Howe comes off of his All-America sophomore campaign as the seventh-place finisher at the national meet and first-time champion at the conference level. He took over as the CCAA javelin champ for his older brother, Nick Howe, now in his second year as a volunteer assistant coach on the UCSD staff while he continues to train on campus toward an Olympic run for Rio 2016. Nick was a two-time national champion, three-time All-American and four-time CCAA champion from 2009-12. The younger Howe will not compete at Saturday's Rossi Relays, and is not expected to make his season debut until March 8 in La Jolla, as the Triton coaching staff looks to prepare him for the NCAA Championships, and beyond that, the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, June 26-29.

Junior sprinter Keith Rose is the school record-holder in both the 100 and 200 meters, and the reigning CCAA champion in the 100. He placed third in the 200 last season and led off the third-place 4x400 relay. Rose has broken the school mark in both individual sprints twice each. He broke the 100 standard in both prelims (10.71) and finals (10.62) at the 2013 CCAA Championships in Turlock last May. Rose first took over the 200 mark as a freshman (21.59) and lowered it in prelims (21.57) at the 2013 CCAA meet. He is the younger brother of former Triton All-American Jacqueline Rose (2009-12).

UCSD has three All-Americans on its 2014 roster. Junior Nash Howe earned All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the javelin a year ago in his debut at the NCAA Division II Championships. Junior Sabrina Pimentel and senior Lauren Irish are All-Americans from the 2012 season, when they made up half of UCSD's seventh-place 4x400 relay. Pimentel competed at the 2013 NCAA Championships as well, in the 800 meters. Remaining returners who made the 2013 NCAA field are senior pole vaulter Clint Rosser and sophomore Kristin Sato, the 2013 CCAA Freshman of the Year, in the triple jump. Pimentel and Rosser both fell narrowly short of All-America status with ninth-place finishes in their respective events.

Nash Howe (javelin), Kellen Levy (10000), Keith Rose (100) and Kristin Sato (triple jump) are returning CCAA champions from 2013. All told, there are 14 Tritons on the 2014 roster who produced top-three finishes in at least one individual event at the 2013 CCAA Championships. They are Howe (1st, javelin), Levy (1st, 10000), Rose (1st, 100; 3rd, 200), Sato (1st, triple jump, 3rd, long jump), Lorato Anderson (2nd, 800), Megan Benham (3rd, pole vault), Veronica Bradley (tied 3rd, high jump), Sean Cook (2nd, long jump), Daniel Franz (2nd, steeplechase), Eva Isaacs (2nd, shot put), Chantia Justice (2nd, triple jump), Sabrina Pimentel (2nd, 400), Clint Rosser (3rd, pole vault) and Julia Wildenthaler (3rd, triple jump). Pimentel and Lauren Irish were on the third-place women's 4x400 relay, while Rose, Nathaniel Ford and David Guinasso were part of the third-place men's 4x400.

UCSD swept the men's and women's CCAA Freshman of the Year awards a year ago, with rookie field standouts Sean Cook and Kristin Sato earning the distinctions. Sato won the triple jump and placed third in the long jump, while Cook was second in the long jump, sixth in the high jump and 11th in the triple jump. Sato went on to warrant a late addition to the NCAA field, where she placed 18th at her first nationals in the triple jump.

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After Saturday's season opener at the Rossi Relays, the Triton men and women will compete in the Pomona Preview the following Saturday, March 1, hosted by CCAA rival Cal Poly Pomona on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in Walnut.


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