Sports

Cross Country Holds Own

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