Triton track solid at invitational

    At the prestigious Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational, hosted by UCLA April 9 and April 10, the Tritons smashed three school records while competing against Division I schools. Senior Lindsay Stalker, sophomore Elisa Holiday and junior Carl Lostrom ended the competition as school record holders.

    Andrew Mo
    Smashing:

    With their success, both of the Triton track and field teams continue to have perfect seasons through eight invitationals for the women and seven for the men.

    For the Triton women, Stalker set the new school record in the 1500-meter race with a time of 4 minutes, 32.35 seconds, eclipsing Denis McFayden’s previous record of 4:32.72, set in 1988. Stalker beat her own personal record by nearly five seconds and dropped nearly eight seconds from her best time during the 2004 season. The race also placed her comfortably within the NCAA provisional mark.

    Throughout her race, Stalker knew that she was on track for a fast time.

    “When I heard the 800-meter time, I made the decision in my mind to just push hard and do this,” she said. “I just decided, why not?”

    Stalker is delighted with her achievement, but is quick to point out the entire team’s success throughout this season.

    “I don’t feel like I should stand out among this group,” she said. “Everyone’s doing so well.Breaking the record is just icing on the cake.”

    Holiday also set a new record in the long jump event with a mark of 18 feet, 9.25 inches, a full 2.25 inches longer than the second-place finisher. Holiday, whose mark was worthy of an NCAA provisional cut, was one of only two competitors from outside Division I that competed in the event.

    “My jumping has been getting better and better each meet,” Holiday said.

    Freshman Emily McGregor’s 3000-meter race earned her a NCAA provisional mark, as she crossed the finish line at 10:06.03. The time is the fourth fastest in school history.

    “I didn’t go into the race expecting to do anything,” McGregor said. “There was a lot of competition with a lot of Division I schools. I didn’t want to get my hopes up about making the cut, but I knew I had to run certain times, so my coach was yelling out times for each lap. I knew I was running well.”

    For the Triton men, Lostrom broke the old school record in the 3000-meter steeplechase. His time of 9:09.45 crushed the previous record of 9:13.54, which was set by Brian Barton in 1982, and earned him an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the event.

    “There’s so much more to learn than just running,” Lostrom said. “There are a lot of different things to work on.”

    Head coach Ted Van Arsdale laid out a plan for the event, based on previous races from this season. Lostrom exceeded those goals at the invitational.

    “During the race, I saw the clock and realized I could go after this,” Lostrom said. “It was a good night.”

    UCSD will next compete at the Mt. San Antonio College Heptathlon/Decathlon Competition April 13 and April 14 in Walnut, Calif.

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