PUEBLO, Colo. - With clear weather conditions present in the Neta & Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl at CSU-Pueblo on Saturday, sophomore Nash Howe highlighted the conclusion of UC San Diego’s season at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships with his All-American finish.
Howe and fifth-year senior Kiley Libuit commenced the day in the second flight of the men’s javelin throw.
Upon placing among the top nine after three rounds of throws, Howe earned three additional attempts in the final. But after throwing 195’0” on his fourth go-around, his shortest throw up to that point, Howe surprised many people.
With his fifth attempt, Howe stunned the spectators with a launch that stretched the tape 214’11”, which was 12’0” longer than his previous-best mark of the day. Although he did not exceed his fifth attempt on the last try (210’10”), Howe’s fifth throw was long enough to move the Aptos High School alumnus to seventh place, where he remained to achieve his first All-American honor and UCSD’s first at the meet.
The Aptos native, who was the event’s only contender to improve his standing in the final three rounds, had an opening trio of throws that measured 200’2”, 202’11” and 195’9”, respectively, and sustained an eighth-place position throughout that span.
Libuit’s first attempt flew 187’11” for seventh place in his flight and 14th overall. On the second try, Libuit threw a length of 179’2”, which was the shortest of his three throws. In that round of tosses, three competitors improved upon their first-round marks and caused Libuit to drop to 17th. Although he finished two slots higher than his initial seed indicated, one more competitor surpassed Libuit’s best mark from the first round in the third set of attempts. Libuit finished 18th overall and had a third-round throw of 184’1”.
Howe came into the competition seeded fifth and earned UCSD’s only NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark of the season in a first-place finish at the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Track & Field Championships on May 4 in Turlock, where he threw 221’4”, the second-longest throw in UCSD history for that event. Libuit, who claimed the 20th and final slot in the event, had his best mark of the year of 198’4” at the Triton Invitational on April 27 in a ninth-place showing.
Top-seeded Alaska Anchorage sophomore Cody Parker won the men’s javelin with a personal-record throw of 255’10” on his second attempt. Parker, whose first attempt also would have been enough to win the event (241’2”), secured the No. 1 seed with a season-best mark of 234’4”.
In the men’s other event of the day, junior Clint Rosser competed in the men’s pole vault and had, by far, the Tritons’ largest climb from initial seeding to final finish.
Rosser was one of only 12 competitors who cleared the second height of 16’2.75”, doing so on his second attempt. However, the Westchester native was not able to record a career record and stay in contention when the third rotation began with the bar set at 16’8.75”. Nevertheless, the Loyola High School of Los Angeles alumnus ended his debut at the national championships in a tie for ninth place, 10 slots higher than his original seed.
Rosser entered the competition with a share of the 19th and final seed, which he earned on May 11 at the Azusa Pacific Last Chance Qualifier in a first-place finish upon clearing a personal-best height of 16’3.5” to strengthen his hold on the third-highest height cleared in UCSD history for that event.
No. 1-seeded Texas A&M Kingsville freshman Jordan Yamoah, who won the pole vault and set a personal best, was the only contender who successfully cleared a height of 17’8.5”. Yamoah’s previous record was 17’5”, which earned him his top seed.
Sophomore Sabrina Pimentel returned to the track for the 800 final after finishing eighth overall and third in her heat in the women’s 800 prelims on Friday, crossing the finish line of the final in ninth place with a time of 2:13.35. Starting in the outside lane, Pimentel began the final in a fashion similar to the prelims and crossed the halfway point in fourth place, one slot lower than the day before. In the second lap though, Pimentel faded back to end just shy of a top-eight finish.
The Winchester native turned in a time of 2:11.46 in Friday’s third prelim heat, which was good enough for third place.
Pimentel reached the NCAA Championships as the No. 13 seed on account of her 2:10.90 time in a second-place showing at the 27th Annual Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on April 13 in Claremont. The time ranks second on UCSD’s all-time top 10 list for that event.
Senior Helen Crofts of Simon Fraser (2:08.18) broke the tape in the 800 final. Crofts was the top seed in the race but came into the meet with a season-best time of 2:04.53.
In her third and last trip to the national championships to cap off a remarkable career with the Tritons, senior Jessica Miklaski ended the women’s javelin throw in 20th place with a top throw of 122’6” on her first attempt. That mark placed her as high as 17th overall and ninth in the second flight. Three of Miklaski’s rivals had better second attempts and dropped Miklaski to 20th. The 2011 All-American’s second and third tries carried distances of 120’6” and 116’2”, respectively.
Up one seed from last season, Miklaski occupied the No. 16 seed to begin her final. Miklaski had her best throw in 2013 during a win at the 17th Annual Rossi Relays in Claremont on Feb. 23 (143’4”).
No. 12-seeded sophomore Mallory Sanner of Seton Hill, who had a season-best throw of 144’11” coming into Saturday, won the competition after sending the spear a personal-record length of 162’2” on her third try. Sanner’s previous record occurred when she earned All-American honors at last year’s NCAA Championships, taking fifth place overall with a throw measuring 157’9”.
-- UCSDtritons.com --