Men and Women Victorious in Early Season Action

Erik Jepsen/Guardian File

TRACK & FIELD — After being rained out of a meet at UC Irvine last weekend, the Triton track-and-field teams were extra prepared to host the San Diego City Collegiate Championships on Mar. 6.

Both the men’s and women’s squads posted a slew of victories and broke two school records on what was a wildly successful day for the Tritons.

“We were ready to go last week, and getting cancelled was tough,” head coach Tony Salerno said. “We got some decent conditions today, and everyone did pretty well.”

San Diego State, Cal State San Marcos, Point Loma Nazarene University and the University of San Diego all participated in the meet. USD fielded only a women’s team.

“It’s a pretty familiar group — almost a friends-and-family meet,” Salerno said. “It’s nice, early in the season, to have an intimate meet like this.”

On the men’s side, sophomore Nick Howe and senior Casey Ryan led the way, breaking their own school records in the javelin and high jump, respectively. Howe broke his record by over five feet with a throw of 206’3,” and Ryan, fresh off a season with the men’s basketball team, jumped 7’1” in his first meet of the year to set a new personal best and school record. Senior Fred Cook touched 179’ in the hammer throw, easily winning the event and posting a Division-II national qualifying mark.

The men finished in first place with 156 points, and Point Loma came in second with 133 points.

The Triton women were led by a trio of seniors who recorded national qualifying marks. Christine Merrill smashed the 400-meter hurdle competition in 59.82 seconds, won the 100-meter hurdles and ran on both the 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams. Leah Murphy won the triple jump with a mark of 38’9.5” and placed second in the long jump, surpassed only by UCSD junior Stephanie LeFever. Senior Marie Archer, whose best throw was 13 feet farther than any competitor, won the hammer throw with ease.

The Tritons tallied 207 points, giving them a comfortable win over second-place Point Loma’s 157.5-point tally.

In the higher-profile invitationals coming up, Salerno said depth will be the key to success.

“We’re going to try to get the people going that we’ll need to win the conference championship on the men’s side, and keep it on the women’s side,” he said. “We know who our stars are, but it’s going to be the fifth-, sixth- and seventh-[place] finishers that will make the difference.”

Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].

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