Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Freshman Caitlin Billman finished first for UC San Diego and 4th overall on Saturday morning.

Tritons Take a Pair of First Place Finishes on Home Turf

UC San Diego

LA JOLLA, Calif. – The University of California San Diego cross country teams put home field advantage into play on Saturday morning and produced a pair of dominate performances in the 27th annual Triton Classic.

Both the Triton men and women executed first place team finishes in their respective races. Each program supported their well-deserved regional and national poll rankings upon completing their fourth meets this season. 

In the women’s 6K, the blue and gold tallied a score of 30 points with 22-minutes, 50.0-seconds being the average. Additionally, UC San Diego accumulated a total of 27 points in the men’s 8K, averaging a time of 26-minutes, 8.0-seconds.

“I am real pleased with how both teams performed today,” said Head Coach Nate Garcia. “They came out and put in a lot of hard work in the two weeks leading up to this race and it paid off. They ran well and they ran together which is a priority for us; it worked out.”

Women’s Recap
As a team, the No. 20 Triton women outran a highly regional-ranked Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps squad. Freshman Caitlin Billman was the leader of the Triton pack, finishing in 4th-place overall after crossing the line in 22-minutes, 46.4-seconds. 

“I am so happy and so proud of all of us,” said Billman. “We’ve been working hard to stay together as a pack and help each other. We are really happy to come out with a win today.” 

After Billman, UC San Diego had five individuals place consecutively. Freshman Isabelle Shepherd narrowly trailed Billman, achieving a 5th-place finish with a time of 22-seconds, 47.5-seconds.

Senior Camille Perkins came in 6th-place (22:47.9) while sophomore Madalyne Coney wound up in 7th-place (22:48.6). Freshman Samantha Rocke and junior Kendra Corey took 8th and 9th having finished simultaneously, marking an identical time of 23-minutes, 3.1-seconds. 

Men’s Recap
The No. 14 UC San Diego men defeated a competitive Stags roster as well who currently sit at number one in the Division III West Regional rankings.

Redshirt senior Sam Blake once again placed first among Tritons and second overall. Blake’s time of 25-minutes, 41.7-seconds broke a UC San Diego participant record, making him the fastest Triton to complete the challenging 8K course. It was also a personal record. 

“I am excited to have finished very well in my last home meet,” Blake said. “I executed my plan to the best of my ability today. It’s just a step in the right direction coming into championship season.”

Redshirt senior Aren Johnson followed right behind Blake, taking 4th overall (26:02.3). Furthermore, Sophomore Brett Beattie earned 6th (26:12.7), junior Elijah Horwitz placed 7th (26:23.3), and senior Tim Corvese secured 8th (26:24.2), anchoring the five top-10 showings from UC San Diego.

Moving forward, the Tritons will utilize the solid efforts from their last regular-season meet and prepare for the CCAA Championships on Oct. 26 hosted by Humboldt State in Arcata, Calif. 

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country.  The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference.  UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent.  A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.  In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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