Women’s track places second; men take third

    The UCSD women’s track and field team finished second and the men’s team went home with third-place honors after rebounding from early deficits on May 15, the final day of competition at the 2004 California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships at Cal State Los Angeles’ Jesse Owens Track. Individuals on both teams now await the May 18 release of the final field of competitors for the 2004 NCAA Division II Championships.

    Although Chico State managed to snag conference titles in both the men’s and women’s bracket, the Tritons made an impressive effort to narrow the margin between UCSD and its opponents.

    The women’s team closed the gap from a 31-point Chico State lead on May 14, coming within 18 at 178.5 total points, but further attempts to close the gap were unsuccessful.

    The Triton men, with 148.5 points, finished behind Cal Poly Pomona, losing by a nose for second place with 150.5 points.

    The Triton men were in sixth place in the seven-team field, while the women were third out of nine squads through opening day, May 14.

    The winner of the last five women’s titles and four out of the last five men’s championships, UC Davis, was ineligible for competition due to its impending move to Division I next season.

    In addition to a victorious 1,600-meter relay, UCSD also had four individual event winners on the women’s side.

    Junior hurdler Meredith Perry won the 100-meter hurdles and shattered the UCSD record with her time of 14.11 seconds. The exceptional performance solidifies her spot at Nationals as a top-five seed in the event.

    Sophomore jumper Kaylin Siever headed into the triple jump as the top seed, and she justified that placement when she won the event, posting a length of 39 feet, 8 inches.

    Siever finished in third place in the 100-meter hurdles on May 15, the second day of competition, finishing in 14.79 seconds and earning All-CCAA Honorable Mention.

    Senior Clara Wilson won in the 400-meter hurdles with her time of 1 minute, 2.35 seconds, while junior high jumper Kelsey Turner took home the top honors in the high jump with a mark of 5-6.

    Perry, Siever, Wilson and Turner garnered First Team All-CCAA recognition in their respective events for their efforts, as did the members of the first-place 1600-meter relay.

    The triumphant UCSD 1,600-meter relay team crossed the finish line in a UCSD record-breaking time of 3:52.51.

    Two more Triton records were claimed for the women’s team by sophomore Briana Hinga, who came in third place out of nine racers in the heptathlon with 4,316 points, and freshman Elisa Holiday, who finished third in the 200-meter dash, posting a time of 24.24 seconds.

    Holiday previously set a school record in the 100-meter preliminary event on May 14 in an even 12 seconds.

    Holiday also finished third in the 100-meter dash final on May 15 to earn All-CCAA Honorable Mention in both sprints after picking up Second Team All-CCAA recognition with her May 14 second-place performance in the long jump.

    Junior Lindsay Stalker was the only other Triton woman to earn conference distinction after running the 1,500-meter event in 4:40.91, finishing third and taking Honorable Mention.

    Sophomore distance runner Michelle DiMeo came in behind Stalker in fourth place, crossing the line in 4:41.18.

    Senior thrower Sagrario Hernandez finished fourth place in both the shot put and the hammer. He had a solid performance of 43-11.25 in the shot put and a hammer throw of 161-5.

    On the men’s side, sophomore hurdler Mike Cunningham set a new Triton record with his win in the 400-meter hurdles in 52.07, which earned him First Team All-CCAA honors. Cunningham improved on his own school record, which was set in the May 14 preliminary event. He finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.52, in front of sophomore teammate Jonathan Patton, who crossed the line next in 14.69.

    Patton was fourth place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.44. The 1,600-meter relay team also set a new UCSD record, finishing second place in 3:14.94.

    UCSD continued to show the advantages of finishing in packs with its second-, third- and fourth-place finishes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

    Senior distance runners Julian Nahan and Eric Nilsen finished second and third in 9:32.09 and 9:35.20, respectively.

    Nahan and Nilsen both earned Second Team All-CCAA and All-CCAA Honorable Mention, while sophomore teammate Carl Lostrom placed fourth in the same event with a time of 9:48.56.

    Junior Kevin Beeman gained Second Team All-CCAA honors in the high jump, tying for second with a jump of 6-8.

    Other Honorable Mention athletes who finished in third include senior distance runner Neil Kalra in the 5,000-meter, who timed in at 15:11.63; senior distance runner John Morrison, who finished the 800-meter race in 1:55.43; and sophomore shot putter Ryan Osgood, who threw for 46-11.75.

    The Tritons improved on an eighth-place finish in the men’s competition and fourth place on the women’s side from the 2003 CCAA Championships.

    In the 2003 meet, UCSD had four athletes crowned conference champions, two earn Second Team All-CCAA, and six more earn Honorable Mention.

    In 2004, the Tritons have increased their prestige with five champions and a winning relay, five Second Team honorees, and 12 Honorable Mentions awarded.

    By the final day of competition, Chico State earned its first-ever women’s crown with 196.5 points and its second men’s championship in three years with 247.5 points.

    The Tritons expect that members of both teams will earn 2004 NCAA Championship berths. In 2003, the men’s team was unrepresented at the meet while three members of the women’s team were elected to race in Edwardsville, Ill. All three returned from the meet as All-Americans.

    The 2004 NCAA Division II Championships will be held May 27 through May 29 at Mt. San Antonio College and hosted by Cal Poly Pomona.

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