Select members of UCLA men’s track and field spent Friday and Saturday in La Jolla for the Triton Invitational, competing not just against more than 1,000 individual athletes from more than 70 different schools but against strong crosswinds as well, a result of UC San Diego’s proximity to the ocean.
Despite the less-than-optimal conditions, the No. 24 Bruins were able to come away with a victory and some experience in the penultimate meet before the end of the season.
Redshirt junior Thomas Nagengast earned a first-place finish in the discus, beating out a field of 45 other throwers with a mark of 163 feet, 3 inches.
Redshirt freshman Matthew Kosecki was not far behind with a throw of 166-4, good for ninth place overall.
Many events featured professional athletes who had previously competed in the Olympics and the World Championships.
The pole vault was dominated by Yoo Suk Kim, a South Korean vaulter and Bruin alumnus who competed in the 2004 Olympics.
Dustin Dileo, another UCLA alumnus and former member of the track and field team who graduated in 2009, finished second in the event behind Kim.
Redshirt senior Greg Woepse and his brother, freshman Mike Woepse, finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the event, both posting top marks of 16-8.75 for UCLA.
Freshman Michael Perry had a breakthrough performance in the long jump on Saturday, posting an impressive fifth-place finish with a leap of 22-7.
The long jump was one of many events that featured international competition, as athletes from the U.K. and Canada both competed against the collegiate athletes.
The Bruins also received strong performances from redshirt junior Mark Weber, who finished seventh in the shot put, and redshirt senior Bo Taylor, who placed 11th in the invitational discus throw.
On Sunday UCLA will travel to take on rival USC in the final meet of the season after having lost to the Trojans last year at Drake Stadium.
Pac-10 Championships and NCAA Championships are also fast approaching, and the athletes who didn’t travel to San Diego this weekend are preparing for their arrival.
Compiled by Eric Peck, Bruin Sports contributor.