Cross country seniors make last dash

    All of the seniors on the UCSD cross country teams have given performances that led to great success for the squads. Those graduating will be missed.

    The seniors on the men’s cross country team are John Burke, Richey Hansen, Neil Kalra, Henry L’esperance, John Morrison, Julian Nahan and Eric Nilsen. On the women’s side, the seniors are Katie Bunker, Amanda Felder, Lilian Gardiner, Julie Pope and Kathy Read.

    Kalra was the Tritons No. 1 runner for most of the 2003 cross country season. In 2003, he earned All-California Collegiate Athletic Association honors for a second straight year and was an All-Region performer in 2002 as well. At the season-closing NCAA meet, Kalra was the squad’s second finisher, placing 77th overall with a time of 33 minutes, 32.9 seconds.

    Nahan was also a cross country standout who turned in a series of outstanding races in last year’s championship season, finishing first for the UCSD men at the same pivotal meet.

    At the Nov. 22 CCAA meet, Nahan placed an outstanding 45th in the 176-runner field with a time of 32:45.8 for the 10-kilometer event.

    Morrison was a reliable point-scorer for UCSD. His 22nd place performance at the 2003 NCAA Division II West Regional with a time of 33:23.1 helped the men’s side finish second.

    Hansen was an important runner for the team, placing 26th at the 2003 CCAA Championships with a time of 26:44.5. This helped in giving a top-three finish for the men’s side at the race.

    Nilsen accomplished a great deal over the course of his time as a UCSD cross country runner. At the CCAA meet, Nilsen rounded out the roster for UCSD in 153rd place by completing the arduous race in 35:37.3.

    At the UC San Diego Triton Cross Country Classic on Oct. 12, 2003, Burke was a significant point-scorer for his team, earning points for coming in 62nd with a time of 27:52.9.

    L’esperance was a capable runner for the Tritons as well. L’esperance came in 55th at the Annual Aztec Cross Country Invitational in September 2003 with his time of 28:12.

    On the women’s side, Gardiner was a fantastic leader and her performances reflected that. At the NCAA meet, Gardiner came in 118th with her time of 24:09.3.

    Read has also been a top performer for cross country the entire 2003 season. At the 2003 CCAA Championships, Read helped the team gain a top-three finish when she came in 22nd with her time of 22:51.2.

    Felder was another consistent presence on the women’s roster. Felder had a 25th-place performance at the 2003 NCAA Division II West Regional by crossing the finish line in 23:26.1.

    Pope made considerable improvement over the course of the 2003 season. At the UC Irvine Invitational in September 2003, Pope placed 51st with a time of 20:56.

    Bunker came in 66th out of a field of 199 competitors at the UC San Diego Triton Cross Country Classic with her time of 25:09.4.

    With the help of Bunker’s presence at that race, the women’s team topped five other schools, including three CCAA foes, to win the Division II title.

    Though UCSD has a young, promising group of cross country runners, the efforts of the seniors, many of whom have been four-year veterans of the team, earned UCSD a new status as a powerful Division II competitor.

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