Tritons place first in meet

    Women’s cross country is coming off of a strong 2003 season that was packed with team accomplishments through the Nov. 22 NCAA Division II Championships, in which the Tritons finished 16th in a field of 24 teams. In the weeks leading up to the national championship, however, UCSD pounded on conference competition at the Triton Classic, finishing the day in first place out of six entered teams, then taking second in a field of 10 teams at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships to host Chico State. The high point of the UCSD women’s cross country postseason came at the NCAA Division II West Regional race, where the Tritons vanquished their opponents by defeating 22 other teams to take second place behind Chico.

    The 2004 roster, with 22 members, is equipped with only two seniors — Lindsay Stalker and Lindsey Young — meaning that the Tritons will be looking to their 10 freshmen runners to step up and provide a solid foundation for their veteran teammates.

    Head coach Ted Van Arsdale will be guiding both the men’s and women’s cross country programs for UCSD for his 13th consecutive year. Since the Tritons made the transition from Division III to Division II, Van Arsdale has worked to build the program up to its former status as the Division III powerhouse that finished second in the CCAA, then first at the West Regional Championship before advancing to the Division III National Championships in 1999. Since then, the program has cleared seemingly insurmountable hurdles to bounce back to make appearances at the Division II National Championships in 2002 and 2003.

    The season is off to a promising start, as the women’s team finished first in a field of 14 teams at the UC Irvine Invitational on Sept. 11. The only remaining home race for the Tritons will take place Oct. 9 at the UCSD Triton Classic.

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