Tritons Run Strong in Trip to Minnesota

    The UCSD Cross Country team gave an impressive performance, taking fifth and 14th, after the longest road trip of their season.

    With just one home race left, the Tritons hope to continue that success on the road for the rest of the year.

    The squad headed to the University of Minnesota for the weekend, taking part in the 25th annual Roy Griak Invitational held at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The Triton men ran in the Division-II 8k competition, while the women competed in the 6k event, both on Sept. 25.

    The men’s squad finished fifth out of the 28 teams competing, while the women’s team took 14th place out of 25 teams.

    Junior John Svet emphasized that the mid-season trip would help them later on.

    “Traveling is always pretty tough, and it takes a lot out of you,” Svet said. “For [NCAA] Regionals — which is going to be big for us trying to get to nationals — having this kind of trip is going to get us used to traveling and having big races after traveling. It was definitely a good experience.”

    Freshman Mario Flores led the way for the Triton men, posting a time of 26:40 to take 34th place out of 334 competitors.

    Sophomore Matt Lenehan and senior Jesse Morrill also finished in the top 50 for the Tritons, finishing 42nd and 50th, respectively.

    Svet and junior Daniel Cooper came in 64th and 85th to round out the rest of the Triton scorers.

    UCSD scored 214 points, finishing fifth overall, while Augustana College — ranked ninth nationally — took the men’s team title with 60 points. Senior Kelly Wiebe of the University of Regina — a college in title with a time of 24:54, and was the only male runner to clock under 25 minutes in the Division-II 8k race.

    Leading the Tritons on the women’s side, freshman Chia Chang clocked 24:24 to place 39th overall. Chang has been the top individual finisher for the Triton women in all three competitions UCSD has had this season. Sophomore Catherine Crisp, freshman Kamilah Foley, junior Aayrn Kobayashi and sophomore Jackie Sikkema were the other scorers for the Tritons, coming in 60th, 85th, 92nd and 116th, respectively.

    With four out of five runners placing in the top 100, the UCSD women scored 367 points, falling 14 points short of 13th-place Minot State University.

    Sixth-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth took the team title with 70 points, led by runner Morgan Place’s time of 21:49 and individual title. Place was the only runner to break the 22-minute mark in the Division-II 6k race.

    Svet indicated that the runners were happy with the performance, but felt the team is capable of more.

    “We didn’t have quite as good of a performance as we’re capable of,” Svet said. “We were hoping for top 5 and we got fifth, so that’s a definitely a plus. But this race really showed that when we are all running at our best, we’ll be capable of some pretty good things.”

    UCSD now has two weeks to prepare for its annual Triton Classic, to be held on Oct. 9.

    The men’s team will run the 10k distance for the first time this season, with the race beginning at 9 a.m. The women will remain at the 6k distance, with the race starting at 10:15 a.m.

    Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].

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