Past Wins Boost Triton Confidence

    CROSS COUNTRY — Set to sprint back into action this Saturday, the Triton cross country teams will travel to San Bernardino, Calif., to compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference Championships. With the competition coming from 11 different schools, the Triton harriers will race against a diverse field of runners. Both the men and women’s teams rank among the top 25 in the nation in NCAA Division II, so the Tritons will bring elite competition to the event.

    UCSD has fared well in each of its meets thus far, winning three team titles. Last month at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, both teams swept their races at the Coyote Invitational as the Tritons posted dual first-place finishes. An easy confidence booster, the teams’ preparation for this weekend’s race was mostly a matter of fine-tuning technique.

    “We continued with our training,” head coach Nate Garcia said. “Essentially we just made some adjustments to get [the runners] ready for the highest level of competition.”

    According to Garcia, the runners’ strategies will amount to jumpstarting their manpower when it matters most.

    “We want to be in a position where we are the strongest team in the second half of races,” Garcia said. “Some of the things we worked on the course at home was to be patient early on, so we could come in strong during the second part of the race.”

    On Oct. 11, the teams competed at home for the Triton Classic. Known for its high level of difficulty and woodsy environment, the UCSD course has provided excellent preparation for the championships.

    “Mentally it’s easier because while it’s got some good hills in it, there’s much less turning,” senior and top Triton finisher Jake LeVieux said of the course at Glen Helen Regional Park. “You can see much farther in front of you — unlike our course at home — even as far as a quarter mile in front of you, and a lot of it is pavement. So it’s a totally different feeling than racing at home.”

    With the cross country season winding down to its last few critical events, the race on Oct. 25 serves as a measuring stick for the Tritons.

    “The [CCAA Conference Championships] are going to be good for us because once we have this race, we’ll be able to compare ourselves to how well we are doing in the region,” LeVieux said.

    The event also provides the Tritons with an opportunity to face returning opponents.

    “The competition is going to be awesome because we’ve raced [Cal Poly] Pomona and Chico before,” LeVieux said. “[Junior Jesse Morrill] is also going to try and race down one of the Pomona guys. I’m nervous and excited at the same time.”

    Marked as the final event before NCAA regionals, the conference championships supply the harriers with much-needed energy as they make their last dash toward the most defining races of the season — the NCAA West Regional and the National Championships, which are set for November.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2320
    $500
    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.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2320
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal