Cross country goes to nationals

    The UCSD men’s cross country team finished 15th and the women’s squad placed 16th at the NCAA Division II National Championships held Nov. 22 in North Carolina.

    Senior Julian Nahan of the men’s team, who turned in a series of outstanding races in the championship season, led the Triton men, placing 45th in the 176-runner field with a time of 32 minutes, 45.8 seconds for the 10,000-meter course at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

    Nahan ran in a group with his teammates early in the meet, but he pushed ahead of the pack in the middle of the race and managed to pace the Triton men.

    Neil Kalra, who was the Triton men’s No. 1 runner for a majority of the season, was the squad’s second finisher, placing 77th overall and clocking in a time of 33:32.9.

    Three other point-scorers were important to the team’s success. They included senior John Morrison, who came in 87th place with a time of 33:45.2, junior Robert Eap (104th, 34:17.5) and sophomore Chris Beetley-Hagler (105th, 34:17.8).

    The remaining runners on the men’s side were sophomore Carl Lostrom (111th, 34:26.1) and senior Eric Nilsen (153rd, 35:37.3).

    On the women’s side, freshman Tina Firouz, the top UCSD performer throughout the 2003 campaign, achieved spectacular results at nationals.

    Resolutely pushing forward from the main pack from the start, Firouz crossed the line 34th out of 189 total runners.

    Firouz posted an excellent time of 22:33.6 for the 6,000 meter course. Her performance earned All-American recognition from the Cross Country Coaches’ Association, adding to Firouz’s substantial list of first-year cross-country accolades.

    Following Firouz were sophomore Michelle DiMeo, who made significant progress throughout the season and took 80th with a time of 23:29.8 in her first NCAA meet, junior Lindsay Stalker, pursuing a strong season finisher by placing 93rd with a time of 23:45.8, sophomore Erin O’Donnell (114th, 24:08.2) and senior Lillian Gardiner (118th, 24:09.3).

    Pursuing the point-scorers closely were seniors Amanda Felder (137th, 24:22.3) and Kathy Read (149th, 24:47.7).

    Running in warm, sunny conditions on a hilly, winding course that coach Ted Van Arsdale called, ³one of the hardest we’ve encountered at the nationals,² neither team held back in the first attempt together in the Division II Nationals.

    Adams State won the men’s event at nationals with 40 points, followed by Abilene Christian (68 points), Harding (86 points), Chico State (147 points) and Western State, which tallied 150 points.

    Adams State (38 points) also won the women’s championship, followed by Western State (101 points) and Grand Valley State (143 points). UCSD’s regional rival Chico State ended up with 201 points, and in fifth place was Harding (264 points).

    The men’s and women’s teams each featured a field of 24 teams.

    The Adams State men were headed by Celedonio Rodriguez, who took the individual title, leading the Colorado school to its 17th national title. The Grizzly women’s victory was their 12th all time. This year’s competition marks the seventh time Adams State has atoned both men’s and women’s titles.

    Historically potent powerhouse UC Davis was ineligible for competition for the meets this past season due to their impending reclassification to Division I, thereby slightly lightening the typically competitive nature of Nationals.

    The collective performances of both the UCSD men’s and women’s teams at Nationals capped off a solid season, and they look to progress even further next season.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2505
    $5000
    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.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2505
    $5000
    Contributed
    Our Goal