Photo by: Marty Bicek
Junior Karina Carstens and the UC San Diego men's and women's teams will compete in Saturday's NCAA West Regional.

Tritons Put Season On The Line At Saturday's West Regional


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NCAA West Regionals
Saturday, Nov. 4
Ash Creek Preserve • Monmouth, Ore.
Women's 6K • 10 a.m. PT
Men's 10K • 11 a.m. PT
Forecast: High of 49 degrees with scattered showers. Wind: 13 mph
Live Results • Live Video 

The University of California San Diego men's and women's cross country teams head to the NCAA West Regionals this weekend at Ash Creek Preserve in Monmouth, Ore. The Tritons will attempt to earn a berth to the NCAA Championships on Sat., Nov. 18, in Evansville, Ind. 

Site: Ash Creek Preserve
A Look From Above: Check out overview pictures of the women's 6K course here. For the men's 10K course, click here.

The top three teams from each region automatically qualify for the NCAA meet on both the men's and women's sides, along with eight at-large teams selected by the NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Cross Country Committee by way of a head-to-head comparison. There is no limit to the number of at-large teams that can be selected from any given region.

After 32 teams have been determined, a minimum of 24 additional individuals of each gender will be selected to compete at the NCAA Championships. The top-two individuals who are not part of a qualifying team will automatically advance, as well as all runners who finish in the top-five at the regional meet and are not part of a qualifying team. The next eight individuals will be chosen as an at-large selection, largely based on the strength of region.

Nationally ranked teams in the men's 10K include: No. 4 Chico State, No. 6 Cal Baptist, No. 9 Cal Poly Pomona, No. 13 Western Oregon, No. 16 Alaska Anchorage, No. 22 Simon Fraser, No. RV Academy of Art and No. RV Western Washington.

Nationally ranked teams in the women's 6K include: No. 1 Cal Baptist, No. 4 Alaska Anchorage, No. 5 Chico State, No. 9 Simon Fraser, No. 12 Cal State San Marcos, No. 22 Cal Poly Pomona and No. RV Western Washington. 

The Triton men took fifth at the CCAA Championships in Ceres on Oct. 21. Junior Aren Johnson (Carlsbad/Army & Navy Academy) earned All-CCAA honors with a 12th-place finish (24-minutes, 53.2-seconds) in the men's 8K race, while sophomore Timothy Corvese placed 25th (25:38.1) and senior Garrett Lepine took 30th (25:44.8).

The UC San Diego women's team finished sixth at the CCAA meet, led by All-CCAA senior performers Ella Verhees (San Diego/Point Loma HS) and Kristin Semancsin (San Diego/Valhalla HS). Verhees placed 11th in the 6K race with a time of 21:38.6, while Semancsin took 14th at 21:42.1. In addition, junior Karina Carstens placed 32nd (22:18.2).

Last season, the Triton women were led by Verhees' 40th-place finish in the 6K race with a time of 22:31.03, while Carstens took 41st (22:31.07) ... The UC San Diego women last qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2014 after finishing fourth at the West Regional meet. Paige Hughes earned All-West Region honors with a 16th-place finish (22:01.8), while Corinne Hinkle was 37th (22:41.08), Chandler Colquitt was 38th (22:45.59) and Michelle Le Roux placed 39th (22:46.58) ... Bre Schofield was the last Triton woman to qualify for the national meet as an individual after finishing fifth (21:44.2) at the 2008 West Regional ... Chico State won the 2016 West Regional, while Alaska Anchorage won in 2015.

The Triton men had two individual qualifiers in 2016 when Tareq Alwafai and Brendan Gee both advanced. Alwafai placed 7th overall with a time of 30:09.47, while Gee finished 10th (30:30.87) ... The UC San Diego men's team last qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2007, when the Tritons took third place at the West Regionals. Jesse Morrill finished 24th (25:40.7), Kevin Klein was 27th (31:58.5) and Greg Geldman placed 28th (32:01.1) ... Tanner Collins qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual in 2014, placing 14th at 31:31.12. Alwafai qualified in 2013, when he placed 14th (32:26.2) and set a UC San Diego course record at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex in Spokane, Wash. ... Chico State won the West Regional in both 2016 and 2015.

The men's and women's teams both qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2003 and again in 2007. 

Former Triton student-athlete Nate Garcia is in his 11th season as head coach of the UC San Diego cross country program. He took over the reins in 2007 after spending five seasons as an assistant coach. Garcia was a four-year letterwinner in cross country and track at UCSD from 1996-2000. He earned numerous athletic and academic honors, including All-Academic District VIII and CCAA All-Academic accolades in 2000-01.

This season's UC San Diego rosters feature several student-athletes from San Diego County. The local women include junior Alexandra Hernandez (El Cajon/Granite Hills HS), junior Christa Kloha (San Diego/Westview HS), freshman Laura Moran (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Semancsin (San Diego/Valhalla HS) and Verhees (San Diego/Point Loma HS). The men's list includes senior Nick Famolaro (San Diego/West Hills HS), Johnson (San Diego/Army & Navy Academy), freshman Jake Selstad (San Marcos/San Marcos HS) and sophomore Burak Tufekci (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS).

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