Tritons host almost 1,000 athletes in competition

    The Triton performance at the two-day 2003 UCSD Track and Field Invitational on April 25 and April 26 “”went well in places,”” according to UCSD head coach Tony Salerno. The Tritons collected several marks against strong competition that either set new or improved provisional qualifying marks for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Championships next month.

    Jake Mumm
    Guardian file

    The meet featured nearly 1,000 athletes culled from over 25 universities of all three NCAA levels and the National Athletic Intercollegiate Association, alongside over 40 other club and international teams. The meet was also heavily marked by Olympic and other elite competition. UCSD fared well against the competition.

    “”I was very proud of the team facing off against high-level competition, including Olympic trainees,”” said Salerno.

    Friday’s portion of the two-day meet included the men’s and women’s hammer throw, and six distance events.

    The top Triton finisher that day was senior David Dunbar, who came in second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:19.12. Dunbar now has the No. 2 all-time mark at UCSD in the steeplechase with his performance.

    Freshman Carl Lostrom closely followed him in third in 9:42.02, while junior Lillian Gardiner put together a third-place finish in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase, running 11:35.04.

    Another notable Triton effort was provided by junior All-American Sagrario Hernandez, who broke her existing school record in the hammer throw with an NCAA qualifying distance of 171’7″”.

    In addition, several UCSD athletes achieved high marks on Saturday, the second and final day of the meet.

    On the track, the UCSD women’s 4×400 relay team, consisting of sophomore Courtney Aberegg, junior Elizabeth Tsu, freshman Sandy Schaefer and junior Hillary Mills, emerged triumphant, taking first place in the event, clocking in at 3:58.72.

    The men’s 4×100 relay team were also champions, with Trevor Takayama, John Patton, C.J. Lawrence and Matt Horner finishing in a time of 42.24.

    In the field events, freshman Kaylin Siever finished third in the triple jump with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 38’2.25”, taking the No. 3 all-time mark on the UCSD record books, as well.

    Senior teammate Kelly Mimnaugh also achieved an NCAA provisional qualifier, tying for eighth in the pole vault with a height of 11’3”, who took the No. 4 all-time position at UCSD.

    Significant non-UCSD achievements in the meet included that of Gabor Mate of Auburn University, who attained a new collegiate record in the men’s discus.

    The Tritons saw the ability to compete against such robust opponents as an experience that will serve them well when they head to the Division II conference meets.

    “”There was a lot of energy and intensity, it was well beyond what we even see at Division II Nationals so it makes it easier for us when we head to conference,”” Salerno said.

    Although the Tritons were studded by outstanding performances, a bout of the flu forced some key athletes to rest out the meet, including senior All-American Audrey Sung.

    Next, the teams will travel to Modesto, Calif., for the May 8 and May 9 California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships.

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