CLAREMONT, Calif. - Three provisional qualifiers for the NCAA Championships were among the top highlights as the UC San Diego men’s and women’s track and field programs opened their 2014 seasons with the 18th Annual Rossi Relays Saturday at the Burns Track & Field Complex.
Justice and Sato went 2-3 in the triple jump, attaining marks of 38’7.5” and 38’6.75”, respectively, with Sato, the 2013 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Freshman of the Year, hitting the consideration qualifier right on.
Capitulo, who spent the past two seasons at College of San Mateo, took first place in the javelin with his toss of 197’6”. The mark puts him at No. 5 on the program’s all-time list already following just his Triton debut.
“It was a pretty good day against a broad range of competition, which included some of the top athletes from USC and the Venezuelan national team,” offered UCSD men’s head coach Tony Salerno. “To get three national qualifying marks this early is certainly promising.”
The only other individual first-place finisher besides Capitulo was Markus Woods, the true freshman timing 55.89 to cross first in the 400 hurdles in his college debut.
The Tritons also had a trio of top relays, with Jared Senese (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Sean Upson, Daniel Franz and Mario Flores going 7:56.42 to win the non-traditional 4x800 on the men’s side. For the women, Amy Heins, Erica Anunwah, Sato and Janay Pierce tied for first with Cal State L.A.’s foursome (47.69) in the 4x100, and Sabrina Pimentel, Jackie Chalmers, Marisa Padilla and freshman anchor Lauren Lopez (Oceanside/Carlsbad HS) made up the fastest 4x400 (3:51.89).
“The tie in the women’s 4x100 relay against Cal State L.A. was a very rare thing to see,” added Salerno about the Tritons’ conference opponent. “We were also even with them at the last exchange in the women’s 4x400, and they (CSULA) dropped the stick. Could be a little rivalry brewing.”
Pierce, like Capitulo a junior transfer making her UCSD debut in impressive fashion, also placed fourth in the 100-meter dash. Her time of 12.22 is good enough for fourth on the Tritons’ all-time list, and just .18 seconds off of a provisional mark. A San Diego native (University City HS), Pierce was a member of the 2012 Big West Conference champion UC Davis squad.
Remaining notable marks included the 42.44 turned in by the men’s 4x100 relay of Emmanuel Elijah, Kyle Chiu, Riley Stauffer and junior anchor Keith Rose, No. 9 all-time at UCSD. Kevin Chiao (15.11) and Adam Augustyn (15.15) moved into the No. 8 and No. 10 spots, respectively, in the school record book for the 110 hurdles.
UCSD returns to action at the Pomona Preview next Saturday, March 1. The meet will take place at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, with Cal Poly Pomona the host.