Meet No. 2
2011 Asics/UC Irvine Cross Country Invitational
Saturday, September 10, 2011 • 8:55 a.m.
UC Irvine Anteater Recreation Center Field • Irvine, Calif.
First Things First
After posting a pair of team victories in their season opener on Friday, the UC San Diego cross country teams will travel to Irvine this weekend to take part in the annual Asics/UC Irvine Invitational. Saturday's competition will feature four races at the Anteater Recreation Center Fields, with the Triton men and women running in both ‘A' events. The women's 5,000 meter A Race is scheduled to start at 8:55 a.m., followed by the men's 8,000 meter A competition at 9:25 a.m.
UCSD will be competing against an elite field from both the Division I and II levels in its second event of the season. In addition to host UC Irvine, the women's A field will feature the likes of Azusa Pacific, Cal Poly, Cal State San Marcos, Cal State Northridge, Grand Canyon, Long Beach State and Pepperdine, while APU, CSUSM, CSUN, LBSU and Pepperdine are a few of the schools that will be entering teams on the men's side. The Triton women will also get their first crack at fellow CCAA squads Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State San Bernardino.
Third Time's A Charm?
The Tritons will be running in the Asics/UC Irvine Invitational for the third year in a row on Saturday. The men finished sixth out of 19 team's in the 8k Invitational in 2010, while the women finished 10th in the 10-team 5k ‘A' invite.
Off and Running
Head coach Nate Garcia's squads opened the 2011 season with a bang last week, as both the men and women posted team victories on their home course. The Triton women had five of the top seven finishers en route to a resounding victory over Point Loma Nazarene, Cal State L.A. and Cerritos College, while UCSD placed seven runners in the top 10 to claim to a comfortable win over the Falcons and Sea Lions on the men's side. All told, the Tritons had 14 of the top 20 finishers across both events. For a complete recap of last week's race, click here.
After leading the Triton women in three races and finishing in the team's top five a total of six times as a rookie in 2010, sophomore Chia Chang was at it again in the first event of the 2011 campaign. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native got out in front of the field early and never looked back, breaking the tape with a final time of 15:12.9 on the 2.5 mile UCSD course. Chang, who finished third overall in the Tritons' opener in 2010, clocked in nearly 13 seconds in front of the second place finisher. The performance marked the first individual victory of her career.
If Friday's season opener is any indication, junior Matt Lenehan is poised to have a tremendous year in 2011. After pacing himself early on, the local Torrey Pines product came on strong to pass teammate Kellen Levy down the final stretch and lead a pack of seven consecutive Tritons in the top 10. Lenehan finished fourth overall in the men's four mile race, clocking in at 22:01.3, while Levy was fifth at 22:04.2. One of the team's most improved runners a year ago, Lenehan scored in six out of UCSD's eight races.
If UCSD is going to take the next step this season, both squads are going to have to rely on some new faces. The Triton youngsters were up to the task on Friday as six UCSD freshmen finished in the top 15 in the women's race and four rookies posted top 15 times in the men's run. Michelle Le Roux led the women's newcomers with a third place time of 15:30.0, followed by sister Melissa Le Roux (16:04.7, 6th), Alia Bales (16:05.7, 8th), Dani Brabender (16:06.2, 9th), Anneke Kakebeen (16:17.3, 11th) and Madison Tanner (16:32.1, 15th). Daniel Hauptman was the top Triton freshman on the men's side, finishing eighth overall at 22:15.3, with Zach Withall (22:30.4), Mike Kloha (22:38.9) and Tanner Collins (22:58.2) following in 13th, 14th and 15th place, respectively.
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