Triton Runners Say Goodbye

As the year comes to an end, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will be losing six seniors due to graduation.

Courtesy of UCSD Athletics
Runners: Many fine athletes will be bidding adieu to the cross country team this spring.

The men’s team will be letting go of Conor Medley of Grass Valley, Calif., James Nielson of Novato, Calif. and Michael Wangler of Los Alamos, N.M.

On the women’s side Amy Wu and Meghan Scott, both of San Jose, and Amy Kitchen, from right here in San Diego, will be leaving the Tritons after the end of this year. These athletes’ accomplishments are numerous.

Medley provided young energy for the Tritons early in his career and continuously improved his ability to compete, finishing within the top 20 in numerous races and 69th in the tough California State Fullerton Invitational, the only competitor from UCSD to do so.

Nielson won the Triple Crown in 1999 as a sophomore at the California State Championships, Conference Championships and National Championships.

He is a two-time California Collegiate Athletic Association Division II cross country champion and is the UCSD record holder in the 1,500 meters and the 10,000 meters. Nielson is one of only four NCAA All-Americans for cross country at UCSD.

Wangler had strong moments during his UCSD career, coming in sixth in the Point Loma Nazarene Dual in 1999.

Wu is one of the best-ever middle distance racers for the Tritons, finishing No. 5 all-time in the 800 meters, and No. 6 in the 1,500 meters. She is a leading member of UCSD’s NCAA Regional Champion Team in cross country in 2000.

Scott led the seniors in winning the conference 3,000 meters and is currently No. 5 for UCSD at that distance, as well as No. 3 in 5,000 meters.

Kitchen is the No. 2 all-time leader in Triton history in the 10,000 meters and competed at the nationals for cross country in 1997.

“”These are extremely special members of UCSD’s program. They have represented the university and its student body at true levels of excellence,”” said cross country head coach Ted Van Arsdale.

All these seniors have had their share of injuries, halting their running and racing activities for a period of time. Scott and Kitchen’s injuries kept them from racing for over a year. Yet all these seniors kept their poise, fought through adversity and raced to their utmost ability.

“”Each senior remained committed to achieving their personal goals and returned top-flight performances,”” Van Arsdale said.””This is an example of perseverance at its best, and the type of quality person who sets the type of example younger people need to see. No quit!””

Remarkably, these seniors all maintained a grade point average of 3.5 to 4.0 while training 20 hours and running as much as 100 miles every week.

“”It takes a tremendously strong person to achieve performances of the likes mentioned above while establishing one’s self in preparation for the real world and maintaining excellent academic status,”” Van Arsdale said.

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