Track and Field

Shorthanded track and field struggles in meet

The UCSD track and field team, coming off a draining performance at last week’s California-Nevada Championships at Fresno State University, struggled a bit this weekend in a five-way meet at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. The Tritons were shorthanded because of injuries, especially on the men’s side, and the coaching staff opted to rest several athletes instead of having them compete in what was considered one of the lower-profile competitions of the year. According to head coach Tony Salerno, the team looked unimpressive. “”It was a fairly poor showing,”” Salerno said. “”We were a little flat, actually. This was one of our low-key meets — the problem was the other teams didn’t take it as low-key. They were pretty good this year.”” The women’s team, which has consistently put together solid showings this year, finished with 217 points, second to Claremont College’s 238. Rounding out the field was Point Loma, Cal State San Marcos and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics runner-up Azusa Pacific, and Cal State San Marcos. Concordia University also competed, but as a nonscoring team. UCSD was led by victories in three events: Audrey Sung in the 1,500 meter, Jackie Vu in the pole vault and Clara Wilson in the long jump. The school record books were again rewritten when Hillary Mills posted the seventh-best mark ever in the 400-meter hurdles. The 100-meter relay team of Liz Tsu, Cindy Wong, Aileen Sabio and Erin Newman finished with the ninth-best mark ever at UCSD. The men didn’t fare as well in the team standings, mustering a fourth-place finish with 196 points behind winner Claremont and defending NAIA champions Azusa Pacific and Point Loma. San Marcos and nonscoring Concordia followed UCSD. Rob Ewanio posted his customary high mark in the shot put at 57′ 3”, the second-best throw of his career and an improvement on his National Collegiate Athletic Association qualifying mark. Other men’s notables include Ryan Vincent’s victory in the high jump with a height of 6’2” and Eric Robin’s mark of 150’8” in the hammer throw, which was 10th-best in school history. “”We were prepared to take some losses in this one in preparation for next week at home against [UC Riverside], Cal Poly Pomona and San Marcos and the conference championships in May,”” Salerno said. “”Still, we generally did not perform well. Perhaps a little emotional letdown after the intensity of Cal-Nevada Championships last week.”” The squad failed to qualify any additional athletes for the NCAA Division II National Championships, but is still optimistic about having more athletes competing at nationals in late May. According to Salerno, Jon Wong has come close to qualifying for the 1,500 meters, which he qualified for last year and will hopefully do so again when he peaks. Salerno said pole vaulter Mark Gomez is also primed for an NCAA qualification. “”[Gomez] in the pole vault will be the next one,”” Salerno said. “”He’s done 15’6”, [fifth best in school history], but he can do 16′ 4”. We’re just waiting for everything to pull together, and he hasn’t done that yet.”” Despite a lackluster performance at Point Loma, the season has generally been a positive one. An indication of the team’s success so far is its ability to consistently post marks among the school’s top 10, a sign that is very encouraging to Salerno. “”It’s really pretty exciting because overall we’re pretty young,”” Salerno said. “”Most of the people jumping in the top 10 were freshmen and sophomores. We’re still in transition [from Division III], but everyone on the team is a player. Another year or two and we’re going to see a real big shift. We’ll see the team jump up as we get older.”” This Saturday’s UCSD Collegiate Invitational marks a homecoming for the Tritons, who have been competing exclusively on the road for two months. The team, still regrouping from injuries, hopes to compete well, but more importantly, stay healthy heading into the final stretch of the season. “”UC Riverside, a Division I school, is dramatically improved, [and so are] Cal Poly Pomona and San Marcos,”” Salerno said. “”It’s a meet we will pursue a little more aggressively, but the challenge is to make sure you [don’t] get injured, especially for the conference meet.”” ...

Track and field goes to Nevada for event

UCSD track and field resumed action at the two-day California-Nevada Championships this weekend. The Tritons also attended the Aztec Track and Field Classic on March 23 following a two-week break from competition. Guardian file photo The annual Cal-Nevada Championships, hosted this year at Fresno State University’s Warmerdam Field, featured some of the top teams in California and Nevada, including Division I powerhouses UCLA, San Diego State University, Fresno State and Cal State Northridge. The Triton women gave a solid effort, finishing 15th out of over 25 schools in the team standings with 10 points, but at a distance behind team-winner Cal State Northridge, which finished with 129.50. Audrey Sung’s first-place 3,000-meter-run mark of 10:06.27 met the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Championships qualifying time in the event. Kathy Read followed in at 12th with a time of 10:27.94 and Lindsey Stalker took 16th with a mark of 10:40.74. In the field, Megan Bergin took 12th in the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 165’02”. The men did not fare as well, finishing 22nd with four points out of over 25 squads. The top showing on the day for the Tritons was Rob Ewanio’s sixth-place finish in the shot put with a distance of 57’02.75. Ewanio, who has already qualified for nationals in the shot put, would have qualified again with that mark. Julian Nahan and Steve Martin finished 10th and 16th, respectively, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and rounding out the top performances was Jon Wong’s 11th-place finish in the 1500-meter run. At the Aztec Track and Field Classic at San Diego State, a nonscoring meet that featured several professional clubs, the Triton track and field athletes had another successful outing despite combating cold, gusty weather. Bergin qualified for the NCAAs in the women’s hammer throw and four UCSD athletes posted all-time top 10 school marks. Bergin, who posted a 154’2″” mark, bested the 150′ mark necessary for a preliminary qualification in San Angelo, Texas at the end of May. Mary Peate’s 12:32.73 in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase was the third fastest time in UCSD history — good enough for fourth place on the day. In the women’s javelin, Lisa Caldwell earned the sixth-best mark in school history with her throw of 117’6″”. Stalker ran a 4:45.33 in the women’s 1500 meters, finishing fifth on the day and sixth in the UCSD record books. Alison McGrane completed the record book with the 10th-best time in school history: a 2:19.78 in the 800-meter run. The men’s competition featured strong outings by the Triton runners. In the 800 meters, the Tritons had a deep field competing, with Wong finishing third, Steve Smith finishing sixth, John Morrison finishing eighth and Brian Parisi finishing 16th. UCSD dominated the results in the 3,000 meters as well, with Nahan finishing fourth, Martin finishing sixth, Neil Kalla finishing seventh, Erick Wackenstedt finishing eighth, Luke Sigmon finishing 11th and Lota Reichert taking 15th. Ewanio turned in the most successful individual performance of the day for the men in the field, taking second in the shot put. Strong marks were also turned in by Jeff Conkey in the 400 meters, Ryan Vincent in the high jump and Marcus Keller in the triple jump. This weekend the Tritons head to Point Loma Nazarene University to take on the Crusaders, Azuza Pacific and Claremont College in a four-team meet before coming home for their first intercollegiate home meet next weekend, the UC San Diego Intercollegiate Invitational on April 13th. ...