UCSD Hosts Championships

    After a promising showing at the Annual Triton Classic, the UCSD Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams recorded lukewarm results at the CCAA Championships last Saturday, Oct. 20. The Triton men went their third straight year carding a third-place finish, while the women placed fourth amongst a field of 11 teams.

    Conditions could not have been better for the conference championships, hosted by UCSD. The climate was cool from a drizzle that covered the North Campus Course during the duration of the men’s 8k race and women’s 6k.

    “It wasn’t a perfect day for us, but we had some really strong performances out there,” UCSD Head Coach Nate Garcia said. “Our conference is a real strong one this year, so it was a real good opportunity for us to test ourselves.”

    As expected, Chico State won its fifth straight conference championship on both the men’s and women’s sides. Chico State finished 1–2, with juniors Isaac Chavez and Alfonso Cisneros placing first and second respectively.

    Sophomore Tanner Collins was UCSD’s top finisher, placing 13th with a time of 26:16. The time was one second slower than his finish at the Triton Classic, hosted on Oct. 6.

    Freshman Scott Acton and junior Mario Flores recorded the next fastest times for UCSD; Acton finished with a time of 26:27 and Flores carded 26:31. Acton, who has performed well for the Tritons in previous meets, won the CCAA Freshman of the Year award.

    “[Acton] has risen to the occasion, he did a good job of following the leadership of [Collins] this weekend, and fighting all the way through. He really helped us secure third place.”

    The Tritons were just slighted for second place, as UCSD finished with an average time of 26:29.68, just three seconds slower and one point behind Humboldt State.

    On the women’s side, UCSD’s top finishers were a pair of freshman. Finishing ninth overall with a time of 22:22, Marie Diaz recorded a career best. The time is also the fastest for UCSD since 2010. Diaz improved a remarkable 37 seconds from the Triton Classic two weeks ago.

    “[Diaz] has just been having a great season,” Garcia said. “It’s always a big transition for athletes to come out of high school, and she’s just handled the jump so well. To be in the top-10 in our conference as a freshman is just great for her.”

    For her record-breaking performance, Diaz was also awarded the Freshman of the Year award.

    Freshman Carolina Guzman also had a strong performance, finishing second for UCSD with a time of 23:01.0 and 20th overall. Junior Chia Chang — the program’s most consistent runner — finished four-tenths of a second after Guzman.

    As a team, UCSD finished fourth, with 115 total points and an average time of 23:02.72.

    Both the men and women have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Division II West Regionals, to be held at Hawaii Pacific at the Kahuku Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 3.

    The Triton men will compete in a 10k race at 8 a.m., while the women’s 6k race is set for 9 a.m. The top five teams from each gender will earn a ticket to the national competition.

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