Photo by: Brock Scott/Scott Photo
The UC San Diego women's team earned sixth place at the 2017 Roy Griak Invitational.
Men Take Second, Verhees Lifts Women to Sixth-Place Finish at Roy Griak Invitational
Release: Saturday 09/23/2017 

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. and SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men’s and women’s cross country teams split up this weekend between the Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota, and Cal State San Bernardino’s Coyote Challenge.

Roy Griak Invitational

The UC San Diego men's and women’s cross country teams put together dominant performances in Saturday morning’s prestigious Roy Griak Invitational. The men's team finished second overall with 148 points, while the women took sixth with 194 points. There were 44 schools competing in the men's event, and 43 teams in women's action.

Senior Ella Verhees continued her outstanding season with a 17th-place overall finish in the six-kilometer course, crossing the finish line in 23-minutes, 8.2-seconds. A San Diego native and graduate of Point Loma High School, Verhees has finished in the top-three for the Tritons in all three meets this season, including consecutive top team finishes.

Junior Karina Carstens took 34th overall with a time of 23:35.8, senior Merin Arft came in 46th place at 23:48.2 and sophomore Camille Perkins was 52nd overall with a time of 23:52.7.

“The women did a nice job of working together and really fought hard in the critical final two kilometers,” said UC San Diego head coach Nate Garcia. “They moved up well and really battled for position. A sixth-place finish here is a very nice result.”

In men’s action, sophomore Tim Corvese's time of 26:33 was enough to garner 15th place overall, leading the Tritons to a second-place overall finish in the 8K race. Junior Garrett Boulais earned 29th place with a time of 26:48.2, junior Aren Johnson was 32nd at 26:50.8 and junior Joseph Benrubi was 91st at 27:51.7.

“The men ran an awesome race,” said Garcia. “From the start, they put themselves in position to matter in the race, and weren’t intimidated by anyone. I’m really pleased with the way they attacked this race.”

Coyote Challenge

UC San Diego sophomore Julian Romero led the Tritons men with a 12th-place overall finish, with a time of 25:54.5, propelling UC San Diego to a fourth-place team finish (102 points) at the 8K Coyote Challenge. Senior Nick Famolaro took 16th with a time of 26:03.4, while sophomore Alex Liebscher placed 17th at 26:05.7.

“Running with only five men, every placed mattered for us,” said Garcia. “They did a nice job of battling some conference foes.”

In the women’s 5K race, freshman AnnMarie Howell earned a 16th-place finish with a time of 18:46.4, lifting the Tritons to a fourth-place team finish (101 points). Fellow freshman Esmeralda Morales claimed 19th at 18:47.8 and freshman Kendra Corey took 28th with a time of 19:02.2.

“The women did a great job of packing up and the success of our first-year athletes proves the future is bright for our program,” said Garcia. “We are extremely pleased with how all four of our squads raced today.”


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