Monday, May 29, 2017

Triton Weekend A Letdown

The Tritons went 1-3 in last weekend's NorCal Water Polo Tournament, beating Air Force 12-9 and losing to UC Berkeley 9-6, Pepperdine 10-5 and Long Beach State 5-2.

David Pilz/

In the two-day tournament, which ran from Oct. 21to Oct. 22, UCSD drew Air Force first.

Although Air Force has not been nationally ranked this year, it is still a very good team and came out swarming in the first quarter, staking a 2-0 lead when time had expired.

UCSD could have clammed up at this point. All season long the Tritons have come out and been able to stick it to people in the first quarter and establish themselves, but for the last couple of games at UCSB and Long Beach State, they have not been able to do this.

Falling behind early again could have disheartened the Tritons. However, UCSD did not let the early score affect it and stormed out in the second quarter attacking Air Force up and down the court, scoring four goals.

""We did not let getting down early affect us, even though it is something we have been having problems with,"" said head coach Denny Harper.

Perhaps because of letting its guard down a little on the defensive end, UCSD allowed two goals. The second quarter ended tied, 4-4.

Not looking to let up the pressure, the Tritons decided to keep attacking the Air Force defense and came out for the third quarter in a feeding frenzy.

Air Force was not to be intimidated however, and in a rabid, dog fight-like, offensively charged third quarter, reminiscent of the Rams-Chiefs game, the Tritons scored six goals to Air Force's five.

By the end of the fourth quarter UCSD had slogged its way to two more goals and the defense had held Air Force to a big fat bagel to make the final score 12-9, Tritons.

Jonathan Samuels scored four goals for UCSD and Vladimir Djapic and Justin Wylie added two goals apiece.

The tournament had 16 teams competing and because of space and time constraints, only two pools were available, UCSD was forced to paly its second game a scant three hours after their first.

Unluckily for the Tritons, its second game was against Cal, a team who even at full strength the Tritons would be hard pressed to handle.

The game started out slowly and evenly with UCSD hanging tough, and Cal went into the second quarter with only a 3-2 lead. It looked like a re-match of earlier in the season, but then Cal took over, outstripping UCSD to take a 6-2 halftime lead.

The Tritons fought valiantly in the second half, narrowing the gap to 7-5, but in the end Cal was too much for them and they fell, 9-6.

""This was our best game of the weekend,"" Harper said. ""We were really happy with the way we played in this game, even though we did not win.""

Samuels posted three more goals for the Tritons.

The second day UCSD had a chance to place as high as fifth in the tournament, but an early morning loss to Pepperdine made it impossible for it to place any higher than seventh, and with its mid-day loss to Long Beach State, UCSD ended up placing eighth.

Despite its disappointing showing at the tournament, UCSD has something to look forward to, as in the next couple of weeks it will play five home games. This will give the Tritons time to regroup for a season-ending push toward championships.

This Sunday the Tritons match face Clairemont College at 12 p.m.

5-k Run to Raise Funds

The fifth annual Chancellor's Challenge 5k run will commence this Friday at 12:15 p.m. Over 1,000 participants are expected.

In the past, the Challenge has been run exclusively on the cross country course, but this year things are going to change.

The new route begins by RIMAC and takes runners down through Marshall college, along Library Walk, then back up to the start/finish line with only part of the race going through the eucalyptus grove, the traditional cross country haunt.

The Chancellor's Challenge is much more than just a 5k run however, and last year it raised over $158,000.

""Right now, it looks like we are definitely going to beat last year's total of $158,000 and much of that is due to Charlie Robbins,"" said Brian Daly, who is in charge of donations and scholarships for this year's race.

Robbins, a former UCSD trustee, will match up to $15,000 in donations and has done the leg work behind many of the corporate sponsorships at this year's Challenge, including sponsorships such as a $15,000 donation from Fisher Scientific and $10,000 apiece from Audrey Geisel and the Doctor Seuss Foundation, and John Moores and the San Diego Padres.

""Charlie has just been terrific and we really owe him a big thank you,"" Daly said.

All the money that Robbins and others have raised goes to two scholarships.

The first is a research scholarship and the second is a community service scholarship.

The research scholarship is for students who mentor with a teacher and is competitive, meaning it is applied for individually.

The community service scholarship is for incoming freshmen. The freshmen are nominated by their high schools for what the schools perceive to be outstanding service to the community. The winners are then picked by UCSD.

Dynes is providing another $40,000 dollars in matching funds, which comes from unrestricted funds that, as chancellor, Dynes has control over and can spend toward the university as he sees fit.

This makes a total of $55,000 in matching funds to be provided by Dynes and Robbins, and assures that this year's Challenge will bring in at least $110,000 in added need.

Beyond matching up to $40,000 dollars, Dynes will provide $25 out of his own pocket for every person that beats him. However, this is not as easy as it may sound, for the Chancellor is one tough competitor

Last year the Chancellor finished 170th with a time of 23:42, a donation of $4,250, but that still leaves over 800 people who did not have enough in them to beat him.

Ken Grosse, assistant athletic director at UCSD, and coordinator of the athletic side of the race, says even some of the athletes who are competing in the event should be worried about Dynes beating them.

""Chancellor Dynes is out there every day running the course and getting ready for the event,"" Grosse said. ""He is serious about this. I know that the coaches and athletes that are competing are always saying, 'we've got to beat the chancellor,' but they need to be careful.""

Dynes also has a standing bet running with the A.S. president such that if the chancellor beats him, Doc Khaleghi must wash Dynes' car.

On the other hand, if Khaleghi happens to pull out the victory over Dynes, the chancellor has to donate funds for an A.S. barbecue.

In addition to the Chancellor's Challenge of $25 for every person that beats him, professor Frances Dynes Hellman is donating $25 for every woman who beats her, and Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences Ed Holmes will pay $25 to every person from Health Sciences who beats him in the race.

For those who want to participate in the race, there are many ways to apply. The application is available with Adobe Acrobat Reader directly off the Chancellor's Challenge Web site,, and there are application forms handy at RIMAC, Geisel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Faculty Club.

All mailed applications are due by Oct. 25 and walk-in applications are being accepted at RIMAC on the 26 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

""This is really a great deal for students,"" Grosse said. ""You get a free t-shirt and food, plus you get to be a part of something that has really turned into a campus signature event.""

Registration is $5 for students and $10 for anyone else. ""Day-of"" registration is available and will be $10 for students and $15 for others.

""Every year the event gets bigger and better, and this year is going to be no exception,"" Daly said.

For more information about the Chancellor's Challenge or to sign up and see how you rate aginst the chancellorand others, go to the Web site or contact Brian Daly at (858) 822-8236 or Kyra Randle, who is charge of entrants and volunteers, at (858) 822-1537.

Highlights at Football's Midway Point

Sunday marks the midway point for the NFL. Well, at least kind of, as with the bye week there is no real midway point. This is as close as it gets, so it is time to weigh in the surprises and disappointments of the season.

The Rams look like Coroebus, sprinting past all contenders while scoring more prolifically than any team in history; but will they fall dead at the finish like Pheidippides, the originator of the marathon, yelling with their last breath?


The Rams will continue their march to a second straight Super Bowl, and although they will not do it undefeated -- no team with a defense like that could -- their offense will carry them through.

Then there is Narcicuss, wait, I mean Terrell Owens, dancing on the Cowboys star. People bemoaned the loss of respect in the game when someone would do that, desecrate the most holy of holies, the home team's logo.

Hey, if it was anyone else I would agree that Davis was out of line; but Jerry Jones' Cowboys, the leftover remnants of that coifed wannabe dandy, Jimmy Johnson? Do it again and again Davis and let the whole world revel in that team's ineptitude.

Ricky Williams, ""arise from the dead my son and be worth the Saints draft of 1999,"" said the Saints pundits. Four straight 100-yard rushing games and a 30-yard touchdown pass later, Williams is proving he is no Ryan Leaf.

Leaf, by the way, just decided he was not going to play this week nor next week, either. The thing is, the guy did not tell his coach first, but instead went first to the media. It's like every spoiled brat with a silver spoon stuck up his butt got rolled up into Leaf and sent to Chargers for the express purpose of making the people of San Diego suffer. Leaf is Midas but instead of gold, everything he touches turns to horse manure. Dump him, pronto.

Every great defense has a name, the Steel Curtain for instance, so instead of calling Warren Sapp and the rest of the Bucs' defense by their given names we should just rename them Sapp's Sackers, or wait, here is a better one, They Who Get no Support From Their Offense.

They give it their all and are the best defensive unit that has been around in a long time. However, when you are on the field for 36 minutes, like they were against the Lions, you cannot keep points off the board. The Bucs' offense needs to give these guys some support.

What about the new reigning fat man of the NFL, Sebastion Janikowski. That guy's paunch is bigger than Fatty Arbuckles at his worst, and taking him in the first round is starting to look like a mistake for the Raiders as he only made six of his first 11 field goals. However, he has picked it up, making his final two kicks last week, both 40-yarders, including the game winner.

The Raiders neighbors across the bay, the once dynastic 49ers, are now looking oh-so-bombastic, but take hope Niners fans because as some of us like to say, every loss is a 'Vick'tory. Now, if only the Chargers and Bengals would start winning.

Here is a question: Why don't the Bills start Doug Flutie? The guy is a winner, he won at Boston College, he won in the Canadian Football League, and he won with the Bills. He took them to the playoffs last year where Rob Johnson started and lost the game, albeit, on a trick play, but he still lost.

When Johnson got hurt last week, Flutie brought the Bills back to win. Flutie is the Rudy of the NFL, but he is better than Rudy because the guy deserves to start -- he's earned it.

And finally, my super bowl prediction: The Rams will defeat the Dolphins in a laugher, 40-2. You gotta give the Dolphins' defense something.

Women's Volleyball Wins a Long One

The UCSD women's volleyball team headed up the coast in pursuit of a crucial Collegiate Conference Athletic Association victory and were successful in their endeavor, pulling out a victory in one of it's most hotly contested matches to date.

Tyler Huff/

Sonoma State University proved a worthy challenger, which is something that most teams are unable to claim as of late.

Sonoma State took the Tritons to a full, five-game match at Rohnert Park before finally succumbing to defeat.

Both came out strong in the initial set, and it took extra points for Sonoma to take the game 17-15.

David Pilz/

This early struggle did little to discourage the Tritons, however, as they blasted back in the second set for a 15-9 win.

Fatigue set in for both sides come the third game. Playing three games against a tough opponent takes a lot out of a team, but UCSD had the little bit of extra strength necessary to take the fourth game 15-13.

Sonoma State, though, was not about to just roll over and die after all the hard work, and it came out fired up for the fourth, beating the Tritons 15-12 to force the fifth and deciding game.

Both teams dug deep in this final set, and came out with an infused intensity.

It just was not in the cards for the Sonoma Stat squad, however, as the Tritons took the game and the match with a narrow 15-13 victory in the final game.

UCSD was led by standout performances from some of the athletes that have been outstanding all season.

Laura Santerre was brilliant on the court. Agan she really rose to the occasion under the added pressure.

Her 27 kills led the Triton side in the match, and her 23 digs were second only to teammate Leslie Punelli, who compiled an outstanding tally of 37 for the night.

Jennie Wilson also had an impressive evening, chalking up 20 kills and 14 digs for the blue and gold in helping her team pull out the big victory.

Sonoma's losing squad was led by Christine Shiba, who had 21 kills for the home team in the losing effort.

The Tritons also had a big match at San Francisco State on Saturday. Unfortunately, results were not available to the Guardian at the time of publishing. Next weekend will be another huge opportunity for the Tritons side to pick up key CCAA victories. They play both Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Stanislaus in some tough divisional play.

Cross Country Holds Own

The UCSD cross country team held its own at the biggest meet of the year this weekend.

Lyon Liew/

The Tritons compared their mettle to other teams of equal caliber at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships in Turlock, Calif. this weekend.

The men finished in third place out of seven schools while the women took fourth out of 11 schools.

The top men's team was UC Davis, which was unstoppable with only 21 points. Second place was another team from the North, California State University Chico, which tallied 48 points.

""They definitely dominated,"" Ted Van Arsdale said. ""They have a high standard and good traditions in both genders. There were some tough runners on Saturday, it's just that they were tougher. Davis is the class of the Western Region.""

The Tritons were well behind the top two schools, clinching their third place title with 95 points. Cal State Stanislaus was fourth with 123 points.

UCSD's men were led by a number of underclassmen on the 8,000-meter course.

The top Triton finisher was freshman Julian Nahan. Nahan finished 17th in a time of 26:06.

Right behind Nahan was sophomore teammate David Dunbar in 18th in a time of 26:07. The third UCSD finisher was junior Jonathan Wong in 24th with the time 26:26. The fourth Triton was sophomore Ana Shapiro in 27th with a 26:33. On Shapiro's heels was freshman Nik Bringlason, who ran a 26:35 for the 28th spot.

The overall top men's runner was Davis' Jeff Kaiser, who ran the course in 24:53. Davis and Chico dominated the top spots, taking the first eight positions and 13 of the top 14.

On the women's side it was a similar story.

UC Davis dominated, taking the top spot with a untouchable 23 points. Second place was Chico with 61 points and third saw Cal State Los Angeles with 124.

UCSD was not far behind, placing fourth with 131 points. Sonoma State was in close pursuit, gathering 138 points for fifth place.

""Some of our women did a terrific job,"" Van Arsdale said.

The Tritons' Mary Peate, who has been performing well all season, finished seventh despite that she was suffering from a cold.

The top Triton women finishers for the 6,000-meter competition were also dominated by youth.

Sophomore Audrey Sung came in 16th in a time of 23:13. The second Triton finisher was sophomore Caren Jordan in 18th at 23:14. The third finisher from UCSD was freshman Emily Vala-Haynes.

Senior Amy Kitchen was the fourth Triton finisher in 35th overall with a 23:56. Fifth place for UCSD went to the Tritons' junior Amy Wu, who finished 27th overall in 24:03.

Next up for UCSD is the NCAA Division II Western Regional Championships at Chino on Nov. 3.

Swim Team Opens Strong at USC Invitational

Last weekend the UCSD men's and women's swim teams held their own against very tough competition at the USC Invitational at McDonald's Swim Stadium at the University of Southern California.

""[Our team's performance] was very good,"" said head swim coach Scott McGihon. ""Especially considering how broken down and tired we are.""

The invitational, which began on Friday and ended Saturday, included teams from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, California State University Northridge and Cal State Bakersfield. Also competing were club teams from Mission Viejo, Industry Hills, Irvine and Pasadena.

""All the teams were very good,"" McGihon said. ""There wasn't a single team that was a doormat everyone could step on.""

While the men and women had no individual winners, the women had several finishers in the top five.

Jennifer Watanabe, who was named NCAA Swimmer of the Year last year as a freshman, led the Tritons with top five finishes in three events. She placed fifth out of 38 in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:36.41, fifth out of 91 in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:55.22, and fifth out of 41 in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:07.34.

Junior Sandra Lopez also swam well for UCSD, netting a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.63, and a second-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke in a blazing 2:21.59.

Along with Watanabe and Lopez, junior Lindsey Meeks also swam well enough to qualify for the NCAA championships.

The UCSD women had a strong showing in the 100-yard freestyle competition, with Samantha Wong coming in eighth out of 93 entrants, and Carolyn and Evelyn Kwok placing seventh and ninth, respectively. The women's 200-yard medley relay teams also had a strong effort with a fourth-place finish and a time of 1:51.50.

The USC relay team won the event with a time of 1:47.09.

On the men's side, sophomore Luke Seed stood out for the Tritons, earning a ninth-place finish out of 47 in the 100-yard butterfly with a 52.36 and seventh-place out of 37 in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 58.67.

McGihon also praised the efforts of senior and team captain Rusty Jones, who came in 18th in the 100-yard backstroke event and senior Ryan Wong, who earned 13th place in the 200-yard backstroke.

""There were some surprising efforts,"" McGihon said. ""Especially considering the fact that not all swimmers were swimming in their best events.""

The young men and women Triton swim teams, each boasting only three seniors, are looking for strong efforts from their swimmers this year.

""Our team goal is for everyone to achieve a lifetime best this season,"" McGihon said.

The women's team is especially youthful this year, as it lost seven seniors to graduation. McGihon also expects the teams to do as well as they can in the NCAA championship with several top five finishes.

While pleased with his teams' efforts so far, McGihon cites relay starts and turns, as well as overall speed, as the main areas in need of improvement for the Tritons.

""However I'm very happy with how things are progressing,"" he said. ""These things just come with time.""

Both the men and women will have to demonstrate their skills next Friday in the UCSD Alumni meet.

Subway Series Not All That Grand

Hey, I have an idea. Let's take the greatest event in American sports and name it after a run-down, crime-infested, smelly underground train.

Wait, someone already beat me to it.

What I am talking about, of course, is the World Series, which has, unfortunately, turned into a Subway Series, pitting the New York Mets against the New York Yankees.

As far as the two teams being from the same city, who really cares?

Back in the heyday of baseball, this sort of thing used to happen all the time. Either the New York Giants or the Brooklyn Dodgers would face the Yankees for the title. A Subway Series was nothing special then, and it is nothing special now.

This is the last thing baseball needed.

It is common knowledge that it is nearly impossible for a small-market team to make it to the Series. It is like catching lightninhin a bottle every time a team such as the Oakland Athletics or the San Francisco Giants makes it. The people with money are the people with players, and they are the people with titles. This Subway Series just reinforces that notion, with the two teams from the largest television market duking it out for supremacy.

Another thing I cannot stand about this beloved Subway Series is that it just reinforces the egos of those from the East Coast, and New York especially.

Everything in this country seems to revolve around the East Coast and particularly New York. Sports, politics, news -- you name it, the right half of the country gets first billing.

A city that is full of itself already is just getting more full of itself. This Series isn't about the world, North America or even just the United States. It is all about two burroughs in New York City: Queens and the Bronx.

Baseball desperately needed the Seattle Mariners or the A's or the Giants to make this Series for two reasons: First, it needed a small-market team to make it to the Series, one the average Joe could get behind.

That is what the A's are all about -- a bunch of guys busting their asses off. Their payroll is something like $80 million less than that of the Yankees. The Giants have a solid team but are led by their coach, Dusty Baker, who can will a team to victory.

Also, a team from another part of the country could have some regional significance. The A's, Giants or Mariners would have excited the West Coast. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago White Sox would have done the same for the Midwest, and the Atlanta Braves could have stirred the South.

Alas, it was not meant to be. Instead of a World Series, we have a New York Series.

There are some out there who say the Subway Series will turn off many a fan. This is true for the casual fan, because most people outside of New York cannot relate to either team.

To the pure baseball fan, on the other hand, a Subway Series does not matter one bit.

I love baseball. I will watch the World Series as much as my schedule will allow. The fact that it is a Subway Series does not get me more excited.

In fact, it turns me off a little, but not to the point that I will not watch. Baseball is baseball. Period.

I'm rooting for the Mets. The Yankees have had their time, with three rings in the last four years.

I'm tired of seeing them celebrate every fall.

Plus, I hope the Mets will win. The Yankees are the highest paid, or maybe the highest overpaid, team in baseball. It's time for someone else to win.

It looks grim right now with the Yanks up 2-0, but there is still hope that the Amazin' Mets can work some magic at Shea Stadium.

So, here's to baseball at its best, Subway Series or not.


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