Women's cross country make first-ever visit to NCAA championships

    The UCSD women’s cross country team will look to make waves at its first-ever appearance at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23.

    Guardian file photo

    The Tritons, coming off a third-place team finish at the NCAA Western Regional Championships that secured them the third and final national berth in the West Region, will send a squad that is ranked 18th nationally to the Brookside Golf Course in Ashland, Ohio.

    Leading the way at the regional championships for the women is Audrey Sung, who had a third-place finish among 131 runners with a time of 22:07 in the 6K race — good for her first All-West Region Team honor. Following Sung for UCSD was Lillian Gardiner (24th), Meghan Bellotti (28th), Mimi Hodgins (35th), Erin O’Donnell (36th), Lindsay Stalker (51st) and Kara Cross (60th).

    The team’s qualification came at the right time, following a lackluster performance at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships, where it finished fourth despite being the third-ranked team in the Western Region, which consists of the CCAA, Great Northwest Athletic and Pacific West Conferences.

    The following week, the team dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the regional poll, and from No. 16 in the national poll to falling out of the top 20.

    The women’s 6K race will consist of 30 teams, including UC Davis and Chico State, which finished first and second, respectively, at the Western Regionals, as well as defending champion Western State College of Colorado. The 30 teams will be representing the eight competing regions: West, East, Great Lakes, North Central, Northeast, South, South Central and Southeast.

    Gardiner, Stalker and Sung return from last year’s women’s squad that finished 12th of 21 teams at the Western Regionals.

    The men’s team finished in fourth place at the regional meet, losing out on the third and final national berth by the score of 105-113 to the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

    Neil Kalra, earning his first-ever All-West Region Team honor, had a 14th-place finish (33:29) to lead the Triton men. David Dunbar just missed becoming the second Triton on the all-region team, given to the top 15 runners, with a 16th-place finish among 118 runners.

    Following Dunbar was Alan Shapiro (22nd), John Morrison (24th), Carl Lostrom (37th), Tov Fisher-Kirshner (39th) and Stephen Martin (76th). Despite missing out on a national championship berth, the men’s team was ranked 18th nationally in the final regular season release of the polls.

    Last season, the men’s team secured the fourth and final berth at the Western Regional, and went on to finish 15th at the NCAA National Championships, with Shapiro finishing 61st to lead the Tritons in their first-ever national appearance at the Division II level.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal