Breaking the Tape

    Last Saturday, Oct. 6, UCSD hosted the 20th Annual Triton Invitational, where the Triton women took third and the Triton men finished first for the second consecutive year.

    Serving as a warm-up for the conference championships, the Triton men had four runners finish in the top 10. At the front of the pack was UCSD sophomore Tanner Collins, who won the men’s 8k race with a time of 26:15 to lead the Tritons to their first place finish. To put that time in perspective, on the CCAA conference level, Collins would have placed 10th at last year’s CCAA Championships. Furthermore, Collins would have finished 17 seconds faster than UCSD’s top finisher in 2011, redshirt Matt Lenehan, at last year’s conference meet.

    Collins, a sophomore who has spent last year largely under the radar, finished four spots in front of junior captain Kellen Levy, UCSD’s strongest runner leading up to last weekend’s meet.

    “Tanner has put an amazing amount of work in,” UCSD Head Coach Nate Garcia said. “He had a good summer, he’s been running really well in the past few weeks and has handled his business well.”

    Collins took the lead from the very beginning in his best showing ever at UCSD.

    In an interview with the UCSD Athletics Department, UCSD Head Coach Nate Garcia said the Tritons ran consistent throughout.

    “The guys…controlled the race from the beginning…and in a field of this size it’s a really good indicator of where their confidence and ability levels are,” Garcia said.

    For the Triton Men, two freshmen, Tareq Alwafai and Scott Acton, continue to push the pace for the younger generation. Acton finished in eighth with a time of 26:36.9 while Alwafai took sixth with 26:35.3. The Tritons have been consistently finishing at the top of the underclassmen in each race they’ve been in, and steadily improving as the days pass.

    “I felt like we had a good day,” Garcia said. “There were some strong individual efforts, but I don’t think the whole team hit on all cylinders. I think we missed by a little bit, but the fact that we still finished third is a good indicator of the strength of this team.”

    For the women, Chia Chang had a very strong individual performance, finishing first for the Tritons and placing seventh overall for her 10th consecutive race.

    Freshman Carolina Guzman placed next for the Tritons at 17th with a time of 23:10.3.

    Sophomore Michelle LeRoux has continued to finish high for the Tritons, crossing the finish line 22nd in 23:29.2.

    The California Collegiate Athletic Association’s championships will be hosted by UCSD on Saturday, Oct. 20.

    “CCAA competition is stronger this year, than any other since I’ve been here,” Garcia said. “It will be a really strong conference this year, and I’m glad that we get a chance to prepare for ourselves for the conference championships.”

    The men will host Cal Poly Pomona, CSU East Bay, CSU Monterey Bay, CSU Stanislaus, Chico State, Humboldt State and San Francisco State.

    The women will host all the aforementioned schools, as well as CSU Los Angeles, CSU San Bernardino and Sonoma State for their 6k championship race.

    The men’s 8k will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the women’s 6k race at 10 a.m. 

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