Record-breaking days for Tritons

    The UCSD men and women’s track and field teams had a record-breaking weekend at the Triton Invitational, standing out against the exceptionally competitive pool of teams invited for the two-day meet, including Olympic medalists and foreign elite athletes.

    The Tritons showcased their full array of abilities and, in the process, broke several school records, some of which dated as far back as the 1980s.

    “Numerous Olympic-level athletes [competed], along with many top Division I schools from across the nation,” head coach Tony Salerno said. “It was the most competitive meet of the year.”

    On April 24, the second day of the meet, the men’s 1,600-meter relay team, consisting of sophomore Matt Borzage, freshman Dan Noel, sophomore Mike Cunningham and sophomore Matt Horner, smashed the former Triton school record in a time of 3 minutes, 15.07 seconds.

    The previous UCSD record of 3:16.68 was set in 1992.

    On the women’s side, freshman sprinter Elisa Holiday broke the school’s 200-meter dash record on April 24 by crossing the finish line in a swift 24.64 seconds.

    Holiday broke the old mark of 24.73, previously held by Andrea Kouremetis, which was set in 1989.

    On April 23, senior Katie Bunker finished in sixth place in the women’s steeplechase with a time of 12:04.75.

    Senior Sagrario Hernandez finished a respectable 18th place in the women’s hammer throw with a distance of 51.32 meters.

    On the men’s side, the performances of April 23 had a number of individual standouts that elevated the team’s overall standing.

    Junior Devin Callister finished fifth in the 5,000-meter with a time of 15:56.52, but even more significant is that he finished about five seconds ahead of his nearest opponent, University of San Diego’s Steve Trudelle.

    Junior Hans Van Dale finished 21st for the Tritons in the men’s hammer throw with a distance of 51.48 meters.

    April 24 featured a full slate of action, with a stellar field that included seven-time Olympic medalist Merlene Ottey, who hails from Jamaica.

    Ottey ran against a top field in the 200-meter, including Monique Henderson, a standout from San Diego currently attending UCLA, who is the national high school 400-meter record holder.

    “[Ottey] has won seven Olympic silver and bronze medals in the 200-meter and the relays,” Salerno said.

    In the women’s discus, Olympian Suzy Powell competed, and in the men’s discus, U.S. national champion Carl Brown competed in a tremendously skilled field that included Olympian Andy Bloom and national collegiate record-holder Gabor Mate, originally from Hungary, as well as 2003 National College Athletic Association champion Hannes Hopley of Southern Methodist University.

    Over 800 athletes, representing nearly 100 college and club teams as well as national team members from several nations, competed on April 23 and April 24.

    UCSD’s track and field teams will turn their attention to the UC Irvine Invitational, which takes place on May 2. The event will mark the last regular season meet as the Tritons will take part in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships on May 14 and May 15 and the NCAA Championships on May 27 through May 29.

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