Strong Triton Performances at Nationals

    Tanner Collins and the women’s cross country team finish respectably at NCAAs. 

    For many athletes, the last time to represent their school is a moment of rebirth. When the time comes to hang up that jersey for the last time, the pressure is on to put everything on the line in the final moments of a career. Seniors Michelle Le Roux and Madison Tanner of the women’s cross country team and senior Tanner Collins of the men’s squad can hang their singlets and flats up knowing they did their school proud in their final collegiate performances on the national stage. The senior Tritons, along with the entirety of the women’s cross country squad that qualified for nationals, produced respectable results at the NCAA Championships, held this past Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.

    A week earlier, the women qualified as a whole team at the NCAA West Regionals, utilizing an extremely effective team-based pack running strategy. This Saturday, the Tritons stuck to that same successful approach in a 21st place overall team finish. 

    Junior Marie Diaz was first to finish for the Tritons, coming in at 76th place with a time of 22 minutes and 40.7 seconds. Not far behind was Le Roux who finished in 116th with a time of 23:01.3. Juniors Corrine Hinkle and Paige Hughes finished within one and a half seconds of each other at 23:15.6 and 23:17, respectively. Overall, the Tritons’ 21st place finish was a solid effort out of the 32 competing squads. Grand Valley State swept the top three places and went on to win the team award as well.

    Collins was the lone representative for the men’s squad. He earned his spot at the NCAA Championships at the West Regionals with a performance that won him All-West Region Honors. His time of 32:12.2 for the 10-kilometer course this past weekend earned him a 78th place finish out of 245 of the top runners from all over the country. Adams State University won the team title on the men’s side for the sixth time in seven years, led by its repeating individual title winner junior Tabor Stevens. 

    UCSD concludes its season on a remarkable note. Everyone, from top to bottom, performed admirably at Tom Sawyer Park, and the seniors can rest easy knowing all the blood and sweat poured into the program over the years was well-spent. The Tritons will lose crucial members in seniors Le Rou, Tanner and Collins but will still maintain a strong core of experienced runners for next year’s campaign. 

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