UCSD Heads to NCAAs in Michigan

    Used with permission from UCSD Athletics
    Used with permission from UCSD Athletics

    Five Tritons will compete in Allendale in four separate events from May 22 to May 24.

    Used with permission from UCSD Athletics
    Used with permission from UCSD Athletics

    Boasting an assemblage of five distinguished athletes, the UCSD track and field team will travel to Allendale, Michigan for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships this Thursday, May 22 through Saturday, May 24. With a crew of young newcomers and seasoned veterans, the small collection of Tritons will look to make an impact in a national field of 754 participants.

    UCSD’s squad consists of four Triton men — sophomore Carlos Bojorquez, junior Anthony Capitulo, redshirt freshman Dan Golubovic and junior Nash Howe — along with a lone Triton female competitor, junior Sabrina Pimentel.

    While Pimentel is the only Triton woman to qualify, she is perhaps the most experienced.

    Pimentel earned All-American status (placing within the top eight at NCAAs) in only her freshman year and is a three-time qualifier for the national event. She will compete as the tenth seed in the 800-meter run, for which she is the 2014 California Collegiate Athletic Association champion. Pimentel earned ninth overall in last year’s NCAAs in the same event.

    “You always know that Sabrina’s going to bring it 100 percent, and we’ve always seen that through her career,” UCSD head coach Tony Salerno said. “We think her chances are pretty good about advancing into the finals and being an All-American.”

    Pimentel will begin competition in the 800 preliminaries on Friday.

    On the men’s side, Howe will be returning for his second straight nationals appearance, while Bojorquez, Capitulo and Golubovic will all make their NCAA Championships debuts.

    Golubovic is easily the youngest of the entire troupe, qualifying for the first time despite seeing his first collegiate action just earlier this season as a redshirt freshman.

    “It’s pretty exciting,” Golubovic said. “It’s my first season competing, and I’m stoked about it. I don’t think All-American is out of my league. “

    What makes Golubovic’s quick entrance into nationals even more impressive is his participation in the decathlon contest, a multi-event affair typically rare for freshmen competition.

    “We say it’s an old man’s event because there are so many technical events to develop and the level of competition is so high,” Salerno said. “Division II nationals usually takes two years [for decathlon athletes] to get to their first one. For him to get in his freshman year bodes pretty well.”

    This year’s CCAA champion, Golubovic holds the 11th seed out of a field of 15 participants and will compete on Thursday.

    Distance runner Bojorquez is a junior transfer from Mesa College who will represent UCSD in the 1,500 as the 18th seed. Bojorquez placed second in the event at the CCAAs and will also compete on the national meet’s first day on Thursday.

    Although Bojorquez does not have top seeding, he expressed confidence in his abilities and the potential finishing at the head of the pack.

    “I ran a 3 minutes, 49 seconds as a freshman, and people tend to forget that,” Bojorquez said. “That would have put me in the top five in the nation. [I] feel like if I run a personal best, I probably have a good chance of winning nationals and breaking the school record.”

    Rounding out the Triton squad are javelin throwers Howe and Capitulo. Howe, a junior All-American who finished seventh in the javelin in last year’s national championships, was the only automatic qualifier for UCSD. He took top honors at the CCAAs in the event and will earn the number one seed for NCAAs with his best throw of 229-3. However, in spite of earning the top spot, Howe has nothing guaranteed.

    “I don’t have all that in mind,” Nash said. “I’m just going to go out there, do my thing and have fun with it. I’ve already pretty much done everything to be where I need to be in my training.”

    Junior thrower Capitulo will join Howe after just barely sneaking into the 20-man qualifying lineup as the 20th seed. Capitulo earned third place in the javelin at the CCAAs.

    “The javelin field is pretty compressed,” Salerno said. “[Capitulo’s] the last seed at [a distance of] 201, but even with a mild PR at something like 210’, he can be an All-American.”

    After a strong 2014 campaign, UCSD will hope to lay it all out on the line on the national stage. While the Tritons are not necessarily the top-ranked squad entering the nationals, they have every intention to separate themselves from the mass of fellow competitors.

    “The guys who are here this year — I’ve seen the work each one of them have put in, and I’m super proud to be here with them,” Howe said. “I know everybody has a win or die trying [mentality], and that’s what I love about this group we got here. We put in the work so we can reap the rewards.

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