The UC San Diego cross
country program has signed a total of four men and eight women for the upcoming
2011 season, head coach Nate Garcia announced on Monday. The incoming group of
recruits will join the Tritons as true freshman this fall.
Representing the UCSD men will be Tanner
Collins (Aliso Niguel HS), Daniel
Hauptman (Maria Carrillo HS), Warren
Liem (Tesoro HS) and Zach Withall
(Hinsdale HS), while Sarah Adams
(Valencia HS), Alia Bales (Great Oak
HS), Danielle Brabender (Trabuco
Hills HS), Ana Gonzalez (Eastlake
HS), Anneke Kakebeen (Crescenta Valley
HS), Melissa Le Roux (Rancho
Bernardo HS), Michelle Le Roux
(Rancho Bernardo HS) and Madison Tanner
(Canyon HS) will join the Tritons on the women's side.
A top-15 finisher at the South Coast League Championships as a senior, Collins has shown tremendous commitment and development through the past year. He was coached by UCSD alum John Walsh (1996) and ran a personal best of 15:47 at Mt. SAC as a prepster at Aliso Niguel High School. Collins has shown the toughness to continue developing once he arrives on campus.
Hauptman finished in the top-five at the North Bay League Championships while leading Maria Carrillo High School to a runner-up finish last season. He has shown some natural speed during his high school career, recording a personal best of 15:39, and his consistency, range and experience should make him an impact recruit for the Tritons. He is expected to be a great addition to the squad, particularly in the speed-oriented California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) courses.
Liem saw his personal bests fall dramatically as a senior and went on to have a strong showing as an individual runner at the Sea View League Championships last season at Tesoro High School. A true student of the sport, Liem's passion for development and his mindset towards training will make him an excellent fit with the rest of the team. Like fellow recruits Collins and Hauptman, he recorded a P.R. at Mt. SAC after clocking in at 15:39.
Withall had a tremendous final season at Hinsdale High School in Hinsdale, Ill. in 2010, leading his team to a fourth place finish at the sectional championships after finishing in the top-20 individually. He had a great deal of exposure to high levels of competition throughout his high school career and proved time and again that he is ready to compete at the collegiate level. A gifted track athlete as well, Withall posted a personal best of 4:16.31 in the 1600-meters at HHS.
"We are excited about this incoming class," Garcia said of his male recruits. "We return a strong group so we were looking for the right type of guys to add into the mix to help push us to the next level. Our entire conversation with these men through the recruiting process was that they were being brought in to usher in a new era for UCSD cross country. I believe that with these additions we have the right pieces in place."
On the women's side, Adams put the finishing touches on a brilliant prep career at Valencia High School by posting a top-15 finish at the Foothill League Championships and then advancing to the CIF Southern Section D-I finals as an individual. A highly touted recruit, she has the potential to bring the Triton women to the next level and her strength and toughness will make her an immediate threat for UCSD in the Division II ranks.
Bales comes to La Jolla from one of the premier high school running programs in the country, having led Great Oak to a state championship, back-to-back CIF Southern Section D-I titles and three consecutive Southwestern League crowns during her career. She knows how to win and that knowledge will be a great addition for a Triton squad looking to take the next step forward.
Brabender led her high school team to a second place finish at the South Coast League Championships after placing in the top-20 overall last season and went on to finish in the top-20 at the CIF Southern Section D-I Finals, as well. Another talented Trabuco Hills product, she has a tremendous enthusiasm for the sport and a proven diversity of talents that will undoubtedly make her an excellent addition to the team.
Gonzalez is relatively new to the sport but has been very successful during her brief career, finishing in the top-15 at the Metro League Championships for Eastlake High School a year ago. In just a short time, she has shown a natural running ability and should fit in well at UCSD. Gonzalez should easily continue to get better throughout her time as a Triton.
Kakebeen is coming off an impressive career at Crescenta Valley High School, where she led the squad to its eighth straight Pacific League Championship and a ninth place showing at the CIF SS D-I finals. A tremendously talented athlete, her attitude and experience in the sport will be a huge asset for UCSD going forward.
Melissa Le Roux is one of two sisters joining the Tritons from Rancho Bernardo High School, which has a rich tradition of developing excellent collegiate athletes. A late addition to the class, the local San Diego product has great potential to excel at the next level after helping lead the Broncos to a fourth place finish at the CIF San Diego Section Division I Championships with a top-25 finish as a senior.
Sister Michelle has shown great commitment to the sport over the last four years and is said to be more than ready to compete at the collegiate level. Like Melissa, she has the potential to be a major force for the Tritons for the next four years after leading RBHS to a fourth place finish at the Palomar League Championships as a senior.
Lastly, Tanner comes to UCSD after a hugely successful career at Canyon High School, where she led the Comanches to four straight Century League titles and a fifth place finish at the CIF meet in 2010 -- the highest showing in school history. Another extremely talented athlete, she will be focusing all of her efforts on cross country after also starring on the water polo team at CHS. The Triton coaching staff expects great things from her in the future.
"This incoming women's class is one of the best in program history," Garcia said. "Our women are poised to take a major step forward and the eight women we are brining in this year will play a huge part in moving us towards our goal of a winning a conference title. The infusion of new talent alongside the very capable women who are already on our roster makes this a very exciting time for our program."
UCSD will kick off the 2011 campaign with a home meet on Friday, September 2, before taking part in the annual Asics/UC Irvine Invitational on September 10.