Mixed Results at Aztec Invite

    Mixed Results at Aztec Invite

    Tritons appear rusty in competition against myriad of challengers at SDSU’s 36th annual invitational.

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    The UCSD men’s and women’s track and field teams took on a slew of competitors — including athletes from 27 colleges and 53 track clubs, along with various Olympians and alumni challengers — at the 36th Annual Aztec Invitational this past Friday and Saturday. The Tritons struggled in the hammer throw competitions, which were held at the UCSD Throwing Field, but found some success in the remaining events that were held at the SDSU Sports Deck.

    “We were a little sluggish, which tends to happen after finals and spring break, especially with the youngsters,” UCSD women’s associate head coach Darcy Ahner said. “We do have a young team, but we had some athletes that did pretty well.”

    On Friday morning, the Tritons were outshined on their home turf in the hammer throw competitions. In the women’s hammer throw invitational final, freshman jumps/throws Savanna Forry finished 13th overall while sophomore throws Valerie Francis fouled out. Sophomore throws Giovanni Rico and freshman throws Nick Gastaldo earned seventh and eighth overall, respectively, for the men’s hammer-throw invitational final.

    In the men’s open high jump, Triton sophomore jumps Sean Cook took second place with a top height of 6-4.

    On the track side, UCSD performed well in the long distance events, as sophomore distance Paige Hughes earned the top spot (4 minutes, 46.10 seconds) in the women’s open 1,500-meter and sophomore distance Tareq Alwafai finished second (4:01.94) in the men’s open 1,500. In the men’s open 800, junior distance Carlos Bojorquez was third with a time of 1:53.35.

    “The [long distance runners] had a good meet,” men’s head coach Tony Salerno said. “Paige Hughes had a win, and [Bojorquez] ran well in his first 800 in a while.”

    In the second day of competition, junior Triton and All-American sprints Sabrina Pimentel earned an NCAA provisional qualifier with her third-place time of 2:13.16 in the women’s invitational 800.

    “She’s looking very strong and getting her race sense back,” Ahner said. “She’s getting her confidence back, and I think this meet really helped her do that.”

    Senior pole vault Clint Rosser also earned an NCAA provisional qualifier in the men’s invitational pole vault with his second place finish (15-9.75).

    In the men’s javelin, junior Triton and All-American throws Nash Howe finished in sixth (228-5). Howe went up against an elite array of competitors, including his brother senior throws Nick Howe (fifth, 231-7) and 2012 Olympians Sean Furey (first, 262-6) and Craig Kinsley (second, 251-2).

    Freshman sprints Erica Anunwah, sophomore sprints Amy Heins, sophomore jumps Kristin Sato and junior sprints Janay Pierce together placed third (47.76) in the women’s 4×100 relay. In the men’s 4×100, the Tritons put in a sixth-place effort with a final time of 42.55.

    Linda Rainwater, a former UCSD national champion, briefly vacated her assistant coach position to compete in the invitational high jump, ultimately sharing first place (5-10.5) with Oregon’s Chancey Summers.

    With its first multi-day competition of the season behind them, UCSD now prepares to host the Cal-Nevada Collegiate Championships on April 4 to 5.

    “We’re going to enter everyone in the best places we can,” Salerno said. “It’s a selective meet. It’s dominated by Division I programs. If the team finishes in the top 10, that’ll be a great success.”

    Events will commence at noon on Friday at the Triton Track & Field Stadium.

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