Men’s track charges to eighth place finish

    The Triton men’s track and field team gave a very strong performance at the April 3 and 4 California-Nevada State Championships. The men ranked eighth out of the 23 total entered, which marked the highest finish a UCSD track team has ever had at the meet. Meanwhile, the women’s track and field team finished 13th out of 20 teams.

    The UCSD men’s eighth-place finish was enabled by seven individuals scoring in eight events and both relays, which gave the Tritons the highest finish among all non-Division I male competitors.

    The Tritons accrued 43 points, 84 behind first-place Cal State Northridge. UC Davis, which is transitioning from Division II to move up to Division I for the 2005 season, barely edged out UCSD, winding up in seventh place with 47.5 points.

    “The meet went very well overall,” head coach Tony Salerno said. “The men’s team had a particularly good meet.”

    Most of the competition was composed of Division I teams, so the high result was a fantastic accomplishment for the team. UCSD even beat out Division I UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara, and left most Division II conference rivals in the dust, as well.

    “Our men’s team was the top Division II school in the meet and finished ahead of several Division I teams,” Salerno said. [this is repetitive -hw]

    A number of strong individual efforts made a big difference in accumulating points for the team.

    On the men’s side, senior Julian Nahan finished the 3000 [meter? -hw] steeplechase in 9:16.57, earning him the second-place position and an NCAA Provisional Qualifier. He also took the second-best all-time place in the UCSD record books.

    The steeplechase event had many other solid performances that resulted in UCSD record-breaking and NCAA-qualifying times.

    Sophomore Carl Lostrom took fourth in the steeplechase, finishing in 9:25.54, which was the fourth-best all-time performance in UCSD.

    Senior Eric Nilsen was the seventh-fastest finisher in the same event, timing in at 9:33.70, which qualified him for the 10th-best time at UCSD. The steeplechase was one of only two events where UCSD had multiple scorers.

    “Julian Nahan was definitely a standout for the men in the steeplechase, along with Neil Kalra in the 5000,” Salerno said. “We had three scorers in the men’s steeplechase, which is exceptional.”

    Kalra, a senior, made a third-place effort in the 5000-meter race, crossing the finish line in 14:44.77, which makes him an NCAA Provisional Qualifier. His time also earned him the fifth-best all-time position for the event at UCSD.

    Sophomore Jon Patton was another standout in the meet. Although Patton took fourth in the 400-meter hurdles, racing in 53.33 seconds, his performance in the 110-meter hurdles eclipsed his 400-meter event.

    Patton finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 14.68 seconds, a performance good enough not only to name him an NCAA Provisional Qualifier but also the to become the second-fastest time in UCSD history.

    “Jon Patton had a great meet scoring in both the 110 hurdles, 400 hurdles, 400 relay and 1600 relay,” Salerno said.

    The men’s 400-meter relay team was sixth, finishing in 42.65 seconds, and the 1600-meter team wound up in ninth place, racing in 3:20.18, with Patton a member of both relays.

    Sophomore Matt Borzage made another record-breaking effort with his solid time of 48.64 seconds in the 400-meter, sixth place at the meet and fourth-best all-time position at UCSD.

    Senior Pat Ruttinger put in a ninth-place finish in the pole vault, reaching a height of 15’1”, which, likewise, put him the ninth place in the UCSD record books.

    “On the women’s side, Michelle DiMeo had a great meet, placing sixth with an NCAA qualifying time,” Salerno said.

    DiMeo, a sophomore, competed in the 1500-meter, racing 4:38.10, an NCAA Provisional Qualifier time that also enabled her to leap to the third-best all-time position for the event at UCSD.

    Sophomore school record-holder Kaylin Siever leapt 39-5 [39’5”? -hw] to finish fourth in the triple jump.

    The 1600-meter relay, comprised of seniors Elizabeth Tsu, Hillary Mills and Clara Wilson, along with freshman Elisa Holiday, had a collective finish in 3:54.06, which made them seventh-place at the meet and also gave them the second-best all-time position at UCSD.

    “Clara Wilson was also a standout, placing seventh in the 400 intermediate hurdles with an NCAA qualifying time,” Salerno said.

    Mills and Wilson also gave exemplary respective performances in the 400-meter hurdles. While Wilson was seventh in the event with a time of 63.11 seconds, Mills was ninth with a time of 63.11 seconds. Both women were named NCAA Provisional Qualifiers.

    Freshman Brenda Stevens made a great ninth-place showing in the 3000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 11:34.55, which made her the third-best all-time athlete in that event.

    The UCSD women eventually ranked 13th among 20 participants in the team standings with 18 points. San Diego State garnered 167 points, enough to earn it first place overall among the women’s teams.

    To prepare for the meet, many members of the team rested during the week prior to competing. The team will use the same strategy for next week’s meet at UC Riverside in order to conserve its strength for major meets in the future.

    “We will field as competitive a squad as we can, but may rest some people who competed this week at San Luis Obispo as we prepare for the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship meet in May,” Salerno said.

    UCSD will be back in action competing against Division I schools on April 1 [so this meet took place on april 3 and 4, and they’ll be “back in action” on april 1? month or date must be wrong -hw], including Southern Utah University and UC Riverside, along with Division II Claremont and Division II conference rival Cal Poly Pomona, at UC Riverside.

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