La Jolla, California - With several home meets on its 2019 schedule, the University of California San Diego track and field teams will have plenty of time in the spotlight this season.
The only ones not looking forward to a busy spring on campus are the Triton coaching staff.
“It’s the hardest thing we have to do as coaches,” said UC San Diego head coach Tony Salerno while laughing. “For our athletes, it’s a great thing and a huge competitive advantage, especially with our facilities.
“But for coaches, even a small meet is like putting on a wedding.”
The 2019 schedule features five meets that will be held at Triton Track & Field Stadium, highlighted by the 2019 CCAA Championships May 2-4 and the Triton Invitational on April 13.
Salerno is particularly excited about hosting the CCAA Championships for the final time before becoming a member of the Big West Conference in 2020. The UC San Diego track and field program has been part of the CCAA since 1991 — several years before the rest of the athletic program joined in the conference in the fall of 2000.
“It’s tremendous,” said Salerno. “It will be our last time hosting the meet and it’s always worth quite a few points being at home. We’re excited about that.”
But just as big for the program, and the San Diego community, is the Triton Invitational.
Salerno anticipates roughly 2,000 athletes will be on hand competing in the annual event, and with 2019 being a World Championships year in track and field, there may be several Olympians on campus chasing qualifying marks.
“The exposure it gives us nationally and internationally is unlike anything else,” said Salerno. “There will also be a usual array of top division 1 teams from across the country.”
The season begins with the Blue/Gold/Alumni Meet on Saturday, Feb. 2 in La Jolla, with the San Diego Collegiate Challenge hosted by UC San Diego set for March 9. The UC San Diego Collegiate Open will take place on March 30.
In addition, UC San Diego will be in action within San Diego County on three other occasions, including the Mangrum Invitational hosted by Cal State San Marcos on Feb. 16, the Ross and Sharon Irwin Scoring Meet hosted by Point Loma on March 16 as well as the Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State on March 22-23.
Salerno is also looking forward to increased competition against Big West schools this season. UC San Diego will be in action at both the Beach Opener (March 2) and Beach Invitational (April 19) hosted by Long Beach State, which includes UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara. The Tritons will also get a rare look at CSUN during the San Diego Collegiate Challenge.
Following the CCAA Championships in early May, the Tritons have their final tune-up at the Occidental College Invitational on May 11 before wrapping up the season with the NCAA Championships May 23-25 in Kingsville, Texas.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.