Triton Track Posts Strong Performances at Mangrum, Sun Angel Invitationals

         At Mangrum, junior Ryan Eckert won the shot put with a toss of 51’1”, outdistancing a talented field coached by Olympian Jarred Rome. Senior Dane Sandifer also had a standout performance, taking second in the discus with a throw of 152’2” — 10 feet off his personal record recorded a few weeks ago.

In the hammer throw, UCSD alumnus Fred Cook won the competition with an effort of 183’2”, barely edging out redshirt junior and Lebanese national record holder A.B. Shaheen, who threw 182’10”. On the women’s side, UCSD alumna Danielle Thu won the event with a great early season mark of 190’3.5”. Junior Shana Emile took fourth with her throw of 147’4”.

Conditions at Mangrum were good for all events, with a slight wind helping the throws and the straight track sprints, as evidenced by freshman Keith Rose taking second and third place finishes in the 200m and 100m dash, respectively. His time of 21.94s in the 200m bumps him up the CCAA conference list to sixth. His sister, Jackie Rose, leads Division II for the 400m. At only 0.4 seconds off the top of the conference board, the younger Rose is trying to make as big of a splash as his sister has made in her career at UCSD.

Senior sprints captain Rose was at the meet in Arizona, where she ran well enough to take third place in the premier/elite level of the 400m dash. At 54.8 seconds — more than a second slower than her personal record from last week — Rose was barely behind Great Britain’s Margaret Adeoye, who ran a 53.4s.

UCSD graduate jumper Linda Rainwater took third in the high jump, clearing a mark of 5’9”.

“The post-collegiate Tritons are really a testament to how far the Track and Field program has come,” head coach Tony Salerno said. “To have members challenging for positions on the Olympic Team is amazing.”

Alumni hurdler and Sri Lankan Olympic-hopeful Christine Merrill also finished third in her event, the 400m hurdles, with a time of 57.62 seconds. Graduated sprinter Kelly Fogarty finished fifth in the 200m and fourth in the 100m dash.

“Our athletes that are training post collegiate continue to add energy to Triton Track and Field,” UCSD coach Darcy Ahner said. “Their continued help with the program gives the team a great feeling of legacy, because having so many athletes close to the qualifying standards for USA Olympic Trials is just phenomenal. Its really spectacular for any team at any level.”

         Senior Erin Langford finished sixth in the long jump with a leap of 18’8.5”.

Nick Howe, senior throw captain, popped off a javelin hurl of 229’ to take second place in the javelin competition after U.S. Olympian Mike Hazle fouled his first three throws. His throw moves him up from third to first in all of Division II. This big of a throw early in the season is huge for Howe, who suffered dismally last year at the 32nd Sun Angel Invite, where he threw only 176’11”. Freshman Nash Howe also performed well in the javelin, throwing 178’8”, just a few feet off the top 10 UCSD all-time list.

The only Triton to set a personal record at Sun Angel was Quentin McWhorter. The junior jumped 48’4.5” to annihilate his 46’9” personal record from earlier this season. This provisional qualifier is good for No. 17 in Division II, but the perky transfer says he’s still got more in the tank despite a pulled hamstring earlier in the season and a torn up knee, both of which are healing properly.

Coach Salerno commented on the strength of McWhorter’s performance in the Sun Angel meet.

“Well it was about 90 degrees hotter than it was last year, so that was really nice, but also Quentin McWhorter’s triple jump moves him to number three on the [UCSD] All-Time list and puts him right on the bubble for [NCAA] nationals,” Salerno said.

Moving into the following few weeks, the Tritons are easing up their weight-lifting regimen to focus more on skill training in preparation for the coming CCAA meet, which is shaping up to be a great competition between perennial rivals Chico State and UCSD. The two schools have traded the conference title several times in the past few years. The Tritons travel to Pomona Pitzer this Saturday, April 14.