Home field advantage aids UCSD

The Triton men’s and women’s cross country teams trounced the competition and took the top position in their respective divisions at the 2005 Triton Cross Country Classic, which was held on Oct. 8 and featured a 6k and an 8k race.

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Playing host to a field of 18 men’s and 16 women’s squads, UCSD head coach Ted Van Arsdale explained the Triton strategy for the event.

“It’s important when you host a meet to try to win, and the teams were both very determined, taking advantage of what they knew about the course and their abilities,” Van Arsdale said.

The Triton Classic marked the debut of a new, more technical course. UCSD teams practiced running the course many times, honing their skills in preparation for the event.

“We have individuals who were working on utilizing their downhill technique and other individuals maximizing their turns and using that on top of what they’ve been developing as far as overall strength,” Van Arsdale said.

The Triton men finished on top of the NCAA Division II opposition.

With an average team time of 26 minutes, 39.56 seconds, the men’s team beat the average race time of the Division I first-place team, UC Irvine, by almost one minute.

Senior runner Carl Lostrom was the fastest on the UCSD men’s team, taking ninth place overall and beating his time from last year with a blistering finish of 26:14.

Luke Sigmon, another senior, was the second-fastest male Triton for the fourth race this year. Sigmond’s time of 26:32 secured a 13th-place finish.

Senior Chris Beetley-Hagler finished 18th overall, with a time of 26:46 and was followed closely by freshman Gabe LaMothe, the 20th-place overall finisher, who had a time of 26:48 and junior Dan Holligan, who crossed the line at 26:57 to take 25th place.

Running unattached, Ricky Barnes was the top finisher in the men’s race, with a time of 25:25.

The women’s team beat out 16 others to win first place at the event for the third year in a row. Eleven of the top 12 Division II women’s finishers were UCSD women.

The Triton women secured their victory by earning 39 points, distancing themselves from the second place finishers by a spread of over 20 points.

Senior Mimi Hodgins shattered her time from last year’s race, with a time of 21:53, to take first place of 184 racers.

Hodgins bested her time by over a minute this year, successfully preserving her title on the course.

Senior Nina Miller fought through the course to take eighth place overall, with a time of 22:55.

Sophomore Emily McGregor and junior Erin O’Donnell finished soon after, taking 10th and 13th places, with times of 23:01 and 23:07, respectively.

Sophomore Amanda Burkhardt rounded out the top five for the Triton women, with a time of 23:19 and a 16th-place finish.

The Triton Classic was the last regular-season event for the Tritons.

Next up is the California Collegiate Athletics Association Championships in San Francisco on Oct. 22.

“We want to continue to improve ourselves,” Van Arsdale said. “Our objective is to set no limits and to see if we can be in a position to make a difference.”