Cross country hosts CCAA meet

    UCSD hosted the California Collegiate Athletic Association cross country championships Oct. 20.

    Rebecca Drexler

    It was important to the UCSD team to have the event at home and to have it go well.

    “”We were very proud to host this event,”” said head coach Ted Van Arsdale. “”It went off flawlessly thanks to the efforts of many different people and organizations.””

    The Tritons finished third overall in the men’s division and fifth overall in the women’s division. Van Arsdale was pleased with some of the performances, but acknowledged room for improvement.

    He said that he thinks the team can and will run better in the future.

    UC Davis ran away with the competition, winning both men’s and women’s overall awards and having 14 runners — seven men and seven women — make the All-CCAA team. The All-CCAA team was comprised of the top 15 men and the top 15 women of the day.

    “”UC Davis was on fire,”” Van Arsdale said. “”They ran quite well and were able to put together a great race.””

    The top finisher for the Triton men’s team was Julian Nahan, who finished 16th with an 8,000-meter time of 26:50. The time was especially impressive for Nahan, because it was only his third race of the year.

    “”This was [Nahan’s] first race back for us,”” Van Arsdale said. “”He hurt himself early and has only competed in three events. He ran very well for the circumstances.””

    Triton Neil Kalra finished 18th in a time of 26:55.

    “”[Kalra] made a valiant run for us,”” Van Arsdale said. “”He is not used to running at the head of the pack for us, but he did it here and ran quite well.””

    The two made up for subpar performances from the rest of UCSD’s squad.

    “”Our other athletes had a bad day out there,”” Van Arsdale said. “”They really picked it up for us.””

    The top finisher for the Triton women was Audrey Sung, who placed sixth with a 6,000-meter time of 22:46. The finish earned her All-CCAA honors for the meet.

    “”[Sung] made a good move to move up in the back in the last mile,”” Van Arsdale said. “”The All-CCAA team is really her caliber. I think that she will handle the girls that finished ahead of her better at the regional meet.””

    Van Arsdale was pleased with the performers of his top runners, but saw room for improvement farther back in the ranks.

    “”I think that our women ran very well up front,”” Van Arsdale said. “”I think that we still need some development further back.””

    Triton faithful need not worry about UCSD’s finish at this meet because Van Arsdale points to the regional and national meets as the team’s real focus for the year.

    “”We were really looking to target the regional and national meets more than this conference meet,”” Van Arsdale said. “”We should perform better at those meets.””

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