Ted Van Arsdale enters his 16th season at the helm of the UC San Diego cross country program in 2007. After developing a program which gained national recognition at the NCAA Division III level, Van Arsdale has faced and successfully overcome many new challenges over the last five years, leading the men’s and women’s teams to a higher level in Division II.
In 2001, Van Arsdale led the Triton men’s team to a fourth straight third-place finish in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, and the women’s team to a fifth-place CCAA finish. At the Division II West Regional, UCSD was fourth in the men’s division, earning a first-ever team trip to the Division II Nationals, and 12th in the women’s race. The Triton men capped one of the top seasons in the program’s history by finishing 15th at the NCAA National Meet in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.
In 2002, it was the turn of the UCSD women to qualify for Nationals, making their first appearance ever at the NCAA Division II National Championships and finishing 17th at the meet in Ashland, Ohio, under snowy conditions. Van Arsdale’s Tritons produced their first Division II All-American, as senior Audrey Sung finished 19th overall. On their way to the National Meet, the UCSD women put together a fourth-place finish at the CCAA Championships and a third-place showing at the West Regional. The Triton men duplicated their fourth-place effort at the West Regional from the previous two years, but were narrowly denied a repeat trip to the National Meet. The men also finished fourth as a team in the CCAA.
2003 marked the first time at the D-II level that both programs qualified for the NCAA National Championships in the same season. The teams each finished second in the West Region after the women took second place in the CCAA, while the men finished third at the league championships. While at the NCAA Championships in Cary, N.C., the Triton women finished 16th in the country while also having their second-ever All-America selection as freshman Tina Firouz garnered the accolade for her 34th place finish. The men finished 15th in the nation senior Julian Nahan was the first UCSD runner to cross the line, finishing 45th overall.
The 2004 season provided a new challenge for UCSD as both the men and women were vying for a return trip to the NCAA National Championships. The women attained its goal of qualifying for the NCAA Division II meet with its second place finish at the West Regional only two weeks after finishing second at the CCAA Championships. The women ended the year with a 17th place finish at the D-II Championships. The men came up just short of qualifying for the event after a fourth place finish at the West Regional and a third place finish at the league championships.
Entering the 2005 season with high expectations, Van Arsdale once again guided his squads to successful campaigns. The women posted their best-ever finish at the NCAA Championships, finishing seventh after finishing second at the NCAA West Regional and first at the CCAA Championships. Senior Mimi Hodgins earned CCAA and NCAA West Region Runner of the Year honors while also garnering All-America status along with sophomore Emily McGregor. The UCSD men once again finish third at the CCAA Championships before a seventh place finish at the NCAA West Regional brought an end to their season.
The 2006 season proved to be another year of good results after beginning the season with high hopes. The women finished 16th in the nation after third place finishes at both the NCAA D-II West Reigonal and the CCAA Championships. Diane Dunn and Nina Millers were the Tritons' top two finishers at the National Championships while Dunn was the first UCSD runner to cross the finish line in both the league and regional championship races. On the men's side, Van Arsdale saw his team post a third place finish at the CCAA Championships and a fifth place finish at the NCAA D-II West Regional. The fifth place finish at the regional left the Tritons just on the outside looking in as only the top four teams advanced to the NCAA National Championships. Despite missing out on the nationals, the UCSD men did produce two freshman runners who should lead the program over the next three years, including CCAA Freshman of the Year Max Mullender.
Before the move to Division II in the fall of 2000, Van Arsdale had established UCSD cross country as the top Division III program in the West and one of the nation’s most respected clubs. In 1998, he guided the men’s cross country team to its fifth consecutive NCAA Division III West Regional championship and seventh straight appearance at Nationals, and in 1999, the women’s team qualified for the Division III National Championships for the first time in six years, capturing the West Region title and finishing second in the CCAA.
Van Arsdale has been honored by his coaching peers on several occasions, winning nine Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year awards along with two CCAA Coach of the Year awards. He earned UCSD’s Excellence in Coaching Award for 1994-95. During his tenure as head coach of the UCSD track and field programs, Van Arsdale was selected Regional Track and Field Coach of the Year on three occasions and coached 13 All-American distance runners, including three 5,000-meter champions. He continues to assist with the track and field program at UCSD, directing all events from 800 to 10,000 meters.
Van Arsdale has been involved with UCSD since 1989, when he took over Masters running, a high-performance running program that puts out many national contenders and is one of the best adult competitive teams in California. Prior to coming to UCSD, Van Arsdale coached for three years at San Diego Mesa College. In his second year, he guided the men to a fourth-place finish in the state, their best finish ever. Van Arsdale also has been involved with the Jim Busch Sports Camp for seven years and directs a summer camp for high school teams on the UCSD campus. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education from Point Loma Nazarene College.