Track and field topple records

The UCSD track and field teams have been busy with their own version of March Madness, competing in four meets in as many weeks. Both teams have dominated other schools, including San Diego State and USC. Individually, senior Kevin Beeman and junior Mimi Hodgins broke school records in the men’s high jump and the women’s 800-meter race, respectively, while junior Jon Patton tied the school record in the 200 dash.

Andrew Mo

At the March 25 and March 26 Collegiate Open hosted by UCSD, both teams finished in first place. The men’s team, which was in eighth place at the end of the first of the two-day competition, rocketed ahead and finished first out of 18 teams. Beeman set the new school record in the high jump with a jump of six feet, 11 inches, which broke the old record of 6-10 and met the NCAA provisional mark in the event.

“It was good to break the record at home,” Beeman said. “It was a nice relief because it’s something I’ve been close to all season.”

Junior Mike Cunningham won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.84. Junior Carl Lostrom finished first in the 1500 race with a time of 3:57.59 — just a little more than one second before the second-place finisher. The men’s 4×100 relay team, made up of Patton, juniors Matt Borzage, Peiman Lahsaei and CJ Lawrence, finished first, beating second-place Azusa Pacific by nearly 0.4 seconds. The men’s 135.5 point first-place finish led the team, to meet the high goals it had for itself.

“We’ve been working really hard, and everybody seems much more mature and stronger,” Beeman said. “We’re ready to go.”

The women’s team towered over its competition with a total of 222 points ahead of second-place Azusa Pacific with 107. Hodgins took first in both the 800 and 1500 races, while freshman teammate Dianne Dunn took second in the 800. Freshman Laiah Blue won the 400 hurdles and silvered in the 100 hurdles. Blue credits coach Darcy Ahner for her successes this season.

“[Ahner] immediately saw the things that needed to be fixed, and that’s shown in my races,” Blue said.

Freshman Whitney Johnson and sophomore Elisa Holiday finished one-two in the women’s long jump, posting 5.65 meters and 5.37 meters, respectively.

The SDSU Aztec Invitational on March 21 was also a success for the Tritons. For the women, senior Kendra Canape tied for first place in the high jump with a mark of 5-7. The planned jump-off to determine first place between Canape and Aztec Nicole Carnier was canceled because of inclement weather. Holiday took second place in the long jump with a jump of 18-7 3/4 — the third-best jump in Triton history and only one-quarter of an inch off an NCAA provisional mark. For the men’s team, Lostrom won the steeplechase event with a time of 9:35.71.

The San Diego Collegiate Track and Field Championships, held March 12 at UCSD, saw both teams emerge victorious. The men’s team won 15 of the 19 events and finished the meet with 270 points, overwhelming the competition — second-place Cal State San Marcos had 129 points. Patton tied the school record in the 200 dash with a time of 21.89 and finished first in the event, with Borzage coming in second at 22.19. Lawrence won the 100 dash in a time of 11.28, while Borzage won the 400 with his time of 49.00. Junior Chris Beetley-Hagler won the 5000 race with a time of 15:39.08. At 9:46.92, senior Eric Nilsen came in first place in the 3000 steeplechase — almost 20 seconds faster than the second-place competitor.

The women’s team finished first out of six teams at the All-Cal Championships in Irvine, Calif., with 285 points.. It was at this meet that Hodgins shattered the school record in the 800 race with her time of 2:11.12 and bettered her already-earned NCAA provisional cut. Fellow competitor and senior Lindsay Stalker met the NCAA provisional mark in the race with her time of 2:14.20. Stalker also reached a NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 1500 with her second-place finish of 4:38.17. Blue finished second in the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles, while senior Kaylin Siever finished third in the 100 hurdles.

Both teams will compete again April 2 in a four-way meet with Azusa Pacific, Cal State San Marcos and host Point Loma Nazarene.