Runners Finish Second at Home

    CROSS COUNTRY — Drawing on momentum from their excellent seasons thus far, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams posted second-place victories during the Triton Classic, held on Oct. 11. The men’s 10,000-meter event proved to be an explosive start for Alaska Anchorage as five of its runners placed in the top 10. Nevertheless, UCSD put in a powerful run as junior Jesse Morrill led the way for the Tritons and raced toward the finish line with a time of 32:34 to ultimately claim seventh place. Fellow Triton senior Jake LeVieux clocked in shortly thereafter with a time of 32:41, placing ninth.

    “They are amazing,” senior and men’s captain Daniel Anderson said of his teammates Morrill and LeVieux. “They’ve been working together all season, pushing each other, and they have really stepped it up to improve from last year.”

    Anderson, who was the top overall finisher in the 2007 Triton Classic, did not race Saturday because of a recovering ankle injury.

    Distinguished by numerous turns and a hilly terrain, the UCSD home course proves a challenging track for most harriers — an important advantage for the Tritons as they are set to host the NCAA West Regional in November.

    “We know our course well,” Anderson said. “It’s a really exciting course and we try to push to the top of the hills and run the turns very fast.”

    In a field of 126 runners, freshman Bre Schofield and senior captain Ashleigh Montgomery displayed an obvious knowledge of the course as they blazed ahead for UCSD in the women’s 6,000-meter run. Clocking in at 22:23, Schofield garnered eighth while Montgomery, at 22:50, pushed for ninth. Schofield, who has had a stellar rookie campaign thus far by placing within the top 10 at all of the Tritons’ events, credits her steady focus along with her mental and physical self-motivation.

    “When I’m running, I focus on what I’m going to do and tell myself things that will keep me going,” she said. “With those things you can’t go wrong because you have it locked in your head that you’re never going to give up.”

    Amassing 62 points for the men’s event and 61 points for the women’s, the Tritons were able to win dual second-place finishes — a high-note ending as they enter their two-week break before the conference championships in San Bernardino on Oct. 25.

    “We will train hard and recover when we need to,” Schofield said. “This will give us time to work toward our goals and treat our bodies well. We will definitely study the course and work together as a team. On and off the course we are going to be there for each other and be ready.”

    Following the conference championships, UCSD will host the NCAA West Regional meet on Nov. 8.

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