Track Gets Top Marks in San Marcos

Senior Stephanie LeFever provided the biggest highlight of the day for the Tritons, as she broke her own school record in the long jump. LeFever leaped 20’1” to eclipse 20 feet for the first time in her career, and was picked an NCAA Automatic Qualifier in the process. Her mark bettered her previous record of 19’10.75” that she shared with former Triton Whitney Johnson.

“It was a spectacular thing for her,” head women’s coach Darcy Ahner said. “She’s been staring at that 20-foot mark for a long time. She was so close last year, and this year she’s been jumping consistently 19 this year knowing that it’s there, but actually achieving it and getting over that barrier is huge. Not too many are in that category.”

LeFever also placed fourth in the high jump, and will compete in the Mt. Sac Heptathlon/Decathlon Meet on April 13-14.

“She’s really ready to go in all her events,” Ahner said. “She’s really lined up everything beautifully to have a great heptathlon performance.”

The Tritons had a good day all around in the field events. Senior Erin Langford won the triple jump with a mark of 36’9”. Fellow senior Danielle Thu destroyed the competition in the hammer throw, with her mark of 185’6”, over 25 feet better than the second-place mark. Thu also took second in the discus with a throw of 138’8”. Freshman Eva Isaacs took second in the shot put with a mark of 39”4.5’. Linda Rainwater — a UCSD graduate that competed unattached — tied for first in the high jump.

The Tritons also had a good day in the relay events, winning the 4×400 meter relay and narrowly getting clipped by Cal State Dominguez Hills to take second in the 4×100 meter relay. The 4×400 team of freshman Lauren Irish, junior Deyna Roberson, junior Caitlin Meagher and senior Kelly Fogarty ran 3:46.17 to blow away the field by nearly 10 seconds. The 4×100 team — consisting of Meagher, Fogarty, junior Jaqueline Rose and sophomore Kathleen Hitchens — came in at 46.77, just behind Cal State Dominguez Hill’s time of 46.59. Both relay times were improvements on NCAA provisional qualifying marks.

Meagher also took first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 62.90, and Hitchens was second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.48.

The men’s side also had success with the field events, as all five Triton victories came in the field. Junior Nick Howe — the defending national champion in the javelin — won the high jump with a mark of 6’1.25”. Freshman Clint Rosser’s mark of 14’10.75” was good enough to win the pole vault, and junior Ka Wai Ng won the triple jump with a leap of 46’11”.

Sophomore Ryan Eckert won the shot put, edging out Triton alumnus Fred Cook with his mark of 48’10”. Junior Ab Shaheen was victorious in the hammer throw with a mark of 179’6”.

Overall, Ahner was pleased with the team’s performance, especially coming off one of the higher-profile meets of the year in the Cal-Nevada Championships a week ago.

“Having so many wins is always such a great sign from a team standpoint,” Ahner said. “And coming off of Cal-Nevada, sometimes the athletes can come out kind of flat because that is such a key, high-energy performance. We showed that we can come off of that and still be really strong.”

Any Triton with an NCAA automatic or provisional qualifier will travel to Arizona State on Saturday for the Sun Angel Track Classic, while the rest of the team will compete at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on the same day.

Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].