Meet No. 4
2012 Triton Cross Country Classic Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 • 9 a.m.
North Campus Course • La Jolla, Calif.
The 20th Annual Triton Classic Invitational on Saturday marks the second of three home meets and the overall midpoint of the 2012 season for the UC San Diego cross country teams, coming three races after the UCSD Opener on Aug. 31 and three meets before the season finale at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo. The competitors in the men's 8k race will leave the starting line at 9 a.m. while the runners in the women's 6k race will begin their event at 9:45 a.m.
Break on Through to the Number Side
According to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in its third poll of the 2012 season, the UCSD women are ranked No. 30 among NCAA Division II schools and seventh in the West Region. The women were ranked as high as No. 27 and sixth in the preceding week's (Sept. 20-26) poll in those respective categories on the strength of their first-place performance at the Sept. 22 Lancer Invitational. At No. 6 nationally, Chico State is the highest-ranked team in the region.
The Usual Suspects ... And Then Some
Competing against the Tritons this Saturday will be a slew of California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) rivals and other Division II schools as well as several teams from Division I, the NAIA and Community Colleges. For the men, they will face Cal Baptist, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Northridge, Christian Brothers, Concordia, Hawaii Pacific, Loyola Marymount, Marymount College, Orange Coast College, Point Loma Nazarene, San Diego, San Diego Christian, Soka, Southwestern and UC Irvine. The women will also share the course with these schools in addition to Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State L.A., Cal State San Bernardino, Pacific, San Diego State and UNLV.
Tritons at the Top
A year ago, both the men and the women handled their opponents with differing levels of difficulty at the Triton Classic. The women, in their 6k race, claimed victory with a team score of 38 (2-3-9-11-13) with relative ease to fend off second-place Central Arizona by 82 points (120). The women placed all five of their scorers in the top 15. The men, with a team score of 36, had a more competitive race but defeated Central Arizona (46) by 10 points on the strength of their tight group which finished just inside the top 10 (2-7-8-9-10).
Sweep the Competition
UCSD will vie to repeat the results of the 2011 Triton Classic while also attempting to sweep the field in back-to-back meets. In last year's Triton Classic, the women ended a six-year drought by placing first as a team at the meet for the first time since 2005. As for the men, their win was the first ever at the event.
With her 18:07 finishing time to take second overall in the Lancer Invitational on Sept. 22, junior Chia Chang placed in her ninth consecutive race as the Tritons' top finisher and will go for her 10th straight on Saturday. In last year's Triton Classic, the fourth race of her active streak, Chang was third overall and clocked in at 22:17.5.
Lights, Camera, Acton!
Freshman Scott Acton led the tightly-packed, top-finishing UCSD men's quintet at the Lancer Invitational, finishing third and crossing the line in 25:33. Acton was the first freshman on the men's side to finish as UCSD's No. 1 runner in an 8k race since his teammate, sophomore Tanner Collins (26:51.8, 9th), did the same at the 67th Annual San Diego State Aztec Invitational on Sept. 17, 2011.
The Fab Brabender
The women's team title at the Lancer Invitational proved to be a difficult one to attain and would not have been possible without the heroic final stretch of sophomore Dani Brabender's race. During the last stretch of the women's event, Brabender surpassed Cal Baptist's sixth and seventh runners to place 14th overall and prevented the Lancers from winning their home meet. Brabender finished in 19:19, just one second and four seconds ahead of CBU sophomores Natalie Ball (19:20) and Bethany Bilton (19:24) in 15th and 16th, respectively. The Tritons tallied a team score of 35 points (2-5-6-8-14) to edge the Lancers' score of 36 (1-4-9-10-12).
Saturday's meet will represent the 17th straight Triton Classic in which head coach Nate Garcia has been present. A former UCSD student-athlete in cross country, Garcia first ran for the Tritons during the fourth annual Triton Classic in 1996 and competed in his last one in 2000. Ever since the ninth running of the Triton Classic in 2001, Garcia has attended the meet as a member of the UCSD coaching staff.
2012 CCAA Championships
UCSD will be hosting the 2012 CCAA Championships on Saturday, Oct. 20. The men's 8k race will begin at 9 a.m. and will be followed by the women's 6k race at 10 a.m. On the men's side, the Tritons will face Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State East Bay, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus, Chico State, Humboldt State and San Francisco State. The women will compete against all of the aforementioned teams in addition to Cal State L.A., Cal State San Bernardino and Sonoma State. Please stay tuned for updates regarding the meet in the upcoming weeks.
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