The Tritons collectively competed in six events — the men placed 18th overall and the women finished in 31st. Six of UCSD’s seven competitors garnered All-American honors for finishing within the top eight in their respective fields.
“Overall, it was great meet for us,” UCSD men’s head coach Tony Salerno said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “When you can get to Nationals with a small group and come back with two school records and several All-Americans, you know you’ve had a successful trip. We couldn’t be more pleased with our athletes and how they continue to rise to the occasion in big meets.”
On the men’s side, senior triple jumper Ka Wai Ng posted the highlight of the meet for the Tritons. The Hong Kong national came into the meet seeded sixth, with his best jump at 50’5.5.”
Landing a new school record, a 51’.9” jump, to lead the field through the first four rounds, Ng just missed first place, falling to Texas A&M-Kingsville’s CJ Criggs by a single centimeter.
The only other Triton to qualify for Nationals on the men’s side was senior track captain Nick Howe.
Howe—the 2010 and 2011 national champion in the javelin—came into the meet with the first-seed. In the first day of competition, Howe’s best mark measured at 223’11”, far below his personal best of 231’3.”
In a remarkably strong field, with three competitors recording throws over the 230’ mark, Howe’s throw was still good enough for him to finish fifth.
“My first three throws were extremely weak.” Howe said. “It was like instead of the green light my body, was on the cautious yellow. The wind was blowing in excess of 40 miles per hour and the javelin was slapping me in the face as I ran down the runway so I was pretty distracted.
“[In the finals] I tried to step on the gas and really make up for throwing so poorly in my first series but I just couldn’t reign in my focus and it cost me dearly.”
For the women, the 4x400m relay team, made up of senior Jackie Rose, junior Deyna Roberson, sophomore Lauren Irish and freshman Sabrina Pimentel placed seventh overall with a 3:45.17 time.
Rose went on to finish fourth in the 400m with a 54.14 second time.
“This is really what I came here to do,” Rose said. “In the beginning of the year, we all sat down and wrote down our goals on these little flash cards. This season mine were to qualify for NCAA’s in the open 400m and win the 400m at CCAAs. The fact that I not only qualified but made it to nationals and finished fourth is more than I could have imagined was possible at the beginning of the year.”
Junior javelin thrower Jessica Miklaski came into the meet ranked 17th and finished with a throw of 142’4″—a seasonal best after tearing the glenoid ligament in her shoulder — to take 10th place.
“It was great just to make it to NCAAs this year after everything thats happened.” Miklaski said, who tore the labrum in her shoulder just before season started while lifting weights with the team.
“It was hard to come back after that,” she said, “and I struggled a lot early in the season, and then I got in a car accident that shook me up some more, so its really a blessing to have performed as well as I did to get here. I wish I could have done more, but I have to be happy with where I finished as I hit the best throw I’ve had all season here.”