Meet No. 6
2012 NCAA Division II West Regional Championships
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 • 11 a.m. PST
Kahuku Golf Course • Kahuku, Hawaii
West Regional Central
Upon hosting the 2012 CCAA Championships on Oct. 20, the UC San Diego cross country teams gained valuable experience against their conference rivals which could prove vital during the 2012 NCAA Division II West Regional Championships on Saturday. The meet, hosted by Hawaii Pacific, will commence with the men's 10k race at 11 a.m. PST (8 a.m. HST) and finish with the women's 6k race at noon (9 a.m. HST). It will showcase a slate of top-tier runners from 28 schools throughout the West Region of the U.S., spanning from as far north as Alaska Fairbanks to as far south as Hawaii Hilo, and places as far East as Billings, Mt. (Montana State-Billings) to as far West as Laie, Hawaii (BYU-Hawaii). It is the first-ever West Regional to be held off the U.S. mainland in Division II.
Men Get Their Digits
With their strong third-place finish at the CCAA Championships on Oct. 20, in which they placed better than the higher-ranked San Francisco State, the UCSD men cracked the top five in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) West Region rankings on Oct. 23 at No. 5. In addition, the men earned their first national ranking of the season on Oct. 24 and are now listed at No. 28 in the nation. If the Triton men can place fifth or higher at the NCAA West Regional Championships, they will earn their first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2007, the last time both the men and women sent teams to the nationals.
What's at Stake
In both the men's and women's races, the competing teams will be vying for one of five automatic-qualifier slots. In the men's race, 24 teams will be running. In comparison, 28 teams will be contending in the women's race. All teams finishing in the top five guarantee themselves a slot in the Saturday, Nov. 17 running of the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships in Joplin, Mo. Additionally, the top three individual finishers in each race who are not from top-five finishing squads will compete at nationals.
Round Up the Region
Twenty-eight schools from three conferences will race on Saturday, including 24 schools on the men's side. The following is a breakdown of the schools UCSD will be competing against by conference:
California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA):
Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State East Bay*, Cal State L.A. (women only), Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State San Bernardino (women only), Cal State Stanislaus, Chico State, Humboldt State, San Francisco State and Sonoma State (women only). *-CSUEB is sending only one runner in the men's race.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC):
Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Central Washington, Montana State-Billings, Northwest Nazarene, Seattle Pacific, Western Oregon and Western Washington.
Pacific West Conference (PacWest):
Academy of Art, BYU-Hawaii, Chaminade, Dixie State, Dominican, Grand Canyon, Hawaii Hilo (women only), Hawaii Pacific and Notre Dame de Namur.
The Magnificent Sevens
Head coach Nate Garcia will be taking the top seven UCSD finishers from both the men's and women's races at the CCAA Championships. In finishing order, sophomore Tanner Collins, freshman Scott Acton, junior Mario Flores, freshman Tareq Alwafai, freshman Eddie Carrillo, freshman Daniel Franz and junior Kellen Levy will compete for the UCSD men while freshman Marie Diaz, freshman Carolina Guzman, junior Chia Chang, senior Elena Inouye, junior Ximena Cruz, sophomore Michelle Le Roux and sophomore Dani Brabender will be representing the Triton women on Saturday.
Back to the Conference Finals
Collins led the Tritons in their third-place team showing at the 2012 CCAA Championships. The Aliso Viejo native placed 15th overall with a time of 26:16.2 while Acton (26:27.8) and Flores (26:31.3) finished back-to-back for the Tritons in 17th and 18th, respectively. Alwafai (26:33.8, 20th) and Carrillo (26:39.3, 22nd) capped off the UCSD men's scorers. On the women's side, Diaz stepped up for the Tritons with her 22:22.0 finishing time to place ninth overall. Diaz led a slate of scorers, including Guzman (23:01.0, 22nd), Chang (23:01.4, 24th), Inouye (23:12.6, 30th) and Cruz (23:36.6, 40th).
A Year Ago in Spokane ...
At the 2011 NCAA Division II West Regional Championships in Spokane, Wash., the women placed eighth while the men took ninth. Chang, then a sophomore, earned All-West Region honors when she ran a 21:46 in the 6k race to finish eighth overall. The other four scorers for the Tritons were Le Roux (22:28, 29th), Brabender (22:57, 44th), Alia Bales (23:40, 72nd) and Aaryn Kobayashi (23:47, 77th). In the men's 10k race, Matt Lenehan (32:37, 39th) set the pace for the Tritons. Lenehan was followed by Levy (32:41) in 41st, John Svet (32:55) in 53rd, Alex Corliss (33:14) in 59th and Ben Rich (33:46) in 73rd. The women turned in a team score of 224 points while the men contributed a score of 252.
The Collins Continuum
Collins secured the final All-CCAA slot of the men's race on Oct. 20 by finishing 15th overall with a time of 26:16.2 to lead the Tritons. Collins has been the Triton men's top finisher in the last two races and earned the CCAA Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week Award on Oct. 8 after winning the 20th Annual Triton Classic in dominant fashion. The Aliso Viejo native has progressed remarkably this season, beginning with a 22:20.5 finishing time in seventh place overall as UCSD's No. 6 finisher at the UC San Diego Opener on Aug. 31. He was the Tritons' fourth and second finisher at the Sept. 8 adidas/UC Irvine Invitational (26:06.2, 25th) and the Sept. 22 Lancer Invitational (25:35, 4th), respectively.
Acton Award Winner
Claiming the Freshman of the Year Award for the men's race at the CCAA Championships was Acton, who placed 17th overall with a time of 26:27.8. Acton joins past CCAA Freshman of the Year winners from UCSD on the men's side, including Max Mullender (2006) and Levy (2010). The Lancaster native has been a scorer for the Tritons in every meet this year and was their top finisher at the Lancer Invitational, (25:33, 3rd) in which the men earned their first of two back-to-back team finishes this season.
Flores Floors It
Like Collins, Flores did not figure into the score of the UCSD Opener but has scored in every meet since this season and has become a consistently-reliable teammate for the Tritons. Flores has finished as high as third on two occasions this year, including a 17th-place finish overall at the adidas/UC Irvine Invitational (25:59.0) and an 18th-place finish at the CCAA Championships (26:31.3). Flores was the Tritons' No. 7 finisher at the 2011 NCAA West Regional Championships (34:07) where he finished 84th overall.
Tareq Tears It Up
Another freshman with impressive results is Alwafai, who has scored for the Tritons in all five meets this season. Alwafai's best finish among Tritons was second at the adidas/UC Irvine Invitational, in which he was 16th overall (25:57.6) in the UCSD men's second-place team finish. The Aliso Viejo native also had a good showing at the 20th Annual Triton Classic (26:35.3, 6th) where the Tritons earned a first-place team finish.
Carrillo has competed in every race for the Tritons this season and figured into the score three times. Hailing from Temecula, Carrillo finished in both the UCSD Opener (22:18.6, 4th) and the Lancer Invitational (25:44, 5th) as the Tritons' No. 3 finisher. Perhaps his most important finish this season, however, was at the CCAA Championships in which Carrillo surpassed San Francisco State junior Ryan Woods in the final straightaway to beat Woods by a tenth of a second (26:39.3) for 22nd place overall.
Franz in the Plans
No Triton has had a more drastic improvement in the middle of the season than Franz, who has finished as the No. 7 and No. 6 runner, respectively, in the Tritons' last two races. Franz finished 16th overall in the UCSD men's first-place team finish at the 20th Annual Triton Classic (26:58.0) and was 25th at the CCAA Championships (26:42.7). If his last two races are any indication, Franz could be peaking at the right time for the Tritons.
Levy-ing on a Jet Plane
The UCSD men's Most Valuable Racer from the 2011 season began this season with a first-place showing at the UCSD Opener for which he earned the CCAA Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week Award. Since then, Levy has competed in three races and factored into the score in two of them. The Fresno native was the Tritons' top runner at the adidas/UC Irvine Invitational (25:46.9, 9th) and was their No. 2 finisher at the 20th Annual Triton Classic (26:30.2, 5th), where he helped the men claim a first-place team finish. Levy was UCSD's No. 2 finisher at last year's NCAA West Regional Championships, where he placed 39th overall with a time of 32:41. This will be Levy's third trip to the regionals, and he will be the Tritons' top returning finisher from that race.
Diaz not only finished first among the UCSD women, but she was the only Triton on Oct. 20 to finish among the top 10 in either race. For her efforts, Diaz finished ninth overall with a time of 22:22.0 to earn both All-CCAA and Freshman of the Year honors. Diaz became the first UCSD runner on the women's side to earn the CCAA Freshman of the Year Award since Inouye in 2008. Inouye was the second UCSD runner in two years to win the accolade, following Jessica Bodenhamer in 2007.
Carolina on My Line
In her four races this year, Guzman has finished third or higher for the Tritons. One of the breakout freshmen of this season, the Rancho Cucamonga native has finished in UCSD's No. 2 slot twice. Guzman contributed a time of 19:05.8 at the adidas/UC Irvine Invitational to finish 45th overall as well as a 23:01.0 finish at the CCAA Championships to place 22nd.
The Wins of Chang
At last year's NCAA West Regional Championships on Nov. 5 in Spokane, Wash., Chang earned All-West Region accolades for her eighth-place finish and finishing time of 21:46. Chang has been UCSD's top finisher in the first four meets of this season. The Yorba Linda native's best finishing place so far in 2012 was second at the Lancer Invitational (18:07), and her best finish on a 6k course was at the 20th Annual Triton Classic (22:38.8, 7th). Chang has been UCSD's No. 1 finisher on the women's side in 10 of the last 11 meets dating back to the beginning of the 2011 season at the UCSD Opener on Sept. 2, 2011, when she finished first overall (15:12.9).
Inouye It Til' The End
The lone senior of either the UCSD men's or women's teams, Inouye has had a comeback year. The Torrance native has scored for UCSD in four of five meets this season, with her top performance occurring at the Lancer Invitational, in which she placed fifth overall with a time of 18:49 during the 5k race for which she was the Tritons' second finisher. In contrast, Inouye only scored in one meet for the Tritons during the 2011 season. At this year's adidas/UC Irvine Invitational, Inouye ran a 19:15.6 and finished 56th overall, marking an improvement of 34.5 seconds and 50 places from her 2011 performance.
Cruz has finished among the Tritons' top seven in their last four races, in which she finished seventh among the UCSD women in two races and scored in two others. The Taxco, Mexico native first scored at the Lancer Invitational as UCSD's fourth finisher (18:58, 8th) and capped off the Tritons' score sheet at the CCAA Championships where she crossed the finish line at 23:36.6 to place 40th overall. Cruz's showing at the Lancer Invitational was crucial to the Triton women's first-place team finish. At last year's NCAA West Regional Championships, Cruz was the Tritons' No. 6 finisher with her 23:55 finishing time to place 80th overall.
Michelle on Wheels
Voted by her teammates in 2011 as Freshman of the Year, Le Roux has put together another crop of good performances this season. In her five competitions in 2012, Le Roux has scored in three of them and played potential spoiler to two others. Le Roux's top finish came at the Lancer Invitational, where she was the third Triton to finish and sixth finisher overall (18:54). The Pretoria, South Africa native was also the No. 2 finisher for UCSD at the 2011 NCAA West Regional Championships, in which she turned in a 22:28 finishing time while placing 28th overall in the women's eighth-place team showing.
Upon earning Most Valuable Racer honors from her teammates last year, Brabender continued where she left off in the first three races of the season, including her come-from-behind finish in the final stretch of the Lancer Invitational to secure first place for the women's team (19:19, 14th). Brabender has had better performances on the road this season, including one as UCSD's No. 4 finisher at the adidas/UC Irvine Invitational where she took 71st overall and clocked in at 19:30.4. At the NCAA West Regional Championships last year, Brabender was the Tritons' No. 3 finisher (22:57, 43rd).
A Rare Freshmen Feat
With their accolades, Diaz and Acton swept the CCAA Freshman of the Year Awards for the Tritons, making UCSD the first school in the conference to sweep the category in a given year.
2012 CCAA Championships
Men's 8k Race
1. Chico State 23, 2. Humboldt State 81, 3. UC San Diego 82, 4. Cal Poly Pomona 112, 5. San Francisco State 114, 6. Cal State Stanislaus 162, 7. Cal State Monterey Bay 215, 8. Cal State East Bay 229.
Women's 6k Race
1. Chico State 35, 2. Cal State Stanislaus 82, 3. Humboldt State 95, 4. UC San Diego 115, 5. Cal Poly Pomona 128, 6. Cal State L.A. 137, 7. San Francisco State 189, 8. Cal State San Bernardino 201, 9. Sonoma State 283, 10. Cal State East Bay 290, 11. Cal State Monterey Bay 291.
2012 GNAC Championships
Men's 8k Race
1. Alaska Anchorage 23, 2. Western Washington 50, 3. Montana State Billings 103, 4. Western Oregon 112, 5. Seattle Pacific 140, 6. Simon Fraser 165, 7. Northwest Nazarene 191, 8. Alaska Fairbanks 206, 9. Central Washington 255, 10. Saint Martin's 256.
Women's 6k Race
1. Alaska Anchorage 16, 2. Simon Fraser 61, 3. Seattle Pacific 104, 4. Western Washington 115, 5. Central Washington 151, 6. Montana State Billings 168, 7. Northwest Nazarene 181, 8. Alaska Fairbanks 198, 9. Western Oregon 201, 10. Saint Martin's 317.
2012 PacWest Championships
Men's 8k Race
1. Cal Baptist 40, 2. BYU-Hawaii 66, 3. Grand Canyon 100, 4. Azusa Pacific 139, 5. Academy of Art 183, 6. Dixie State 194, T7. Hawaii Pacific 205, T7. Fresno Pacific 205, 9. Point Loma Nazarene 217, 10. Notre Dame de Namur 241, 11. Chaminade 250, 12. Holy Names 251, 13. Dominican 354.
Women's 5k Race
1. Azusa Pacific 62, 2. Cal Baptist 74, 3. Grand Canyon 86, 4. Dixie State 111, 5. BYU-Hawaii 140, 6. Hawaii Pacific 151, 7. Point Loma Nazarene 156, 8. Academy of Art 172, 9. Chaminade 273, 10. Fresno Pacific 292, 11. Holy Names 310, 12. Hawaii-Hilo 325, 13. Dominican 355, 14. Notre Dame de Namur 371.
NCAA Division II Men's Cross Country National Rankings (As of Oct. 24):
3. Chico State (CCAA), 7. Alaska Anchorage (GNAC), 10. Western Washington (GNAC), 25. Humboldt State (CCAA), 28. UC San Diego (CCAA), 34. Montana State Billings (GNAC).
NCAA Division II Women's Cross Country National Rankings (As of Oct. 24):
5. Alaska Anchorage (GNAC), 6. Chico State (CCAA), 10. Simon Fraser (GNAC), 25. Seattle Pacific (GNAC), 27. Cal State Stanislaus (CCAA), 28. Humboldt State (CCAA), 30. Western Washington (GNAC).
NCAA Division II West Region Champions (2000-Present):
Year Men Women
2000 UC Davis Central Washington
2001 UC Davis UC Davis
2002 Chico State UC Davis
2003 Chico State Chico State
2004 Chico State Chico State
2005 Chico State Chico State
2006 Chico State Cal State L.A.
2007 Chico State Seattle Pacific
2008 Chico State Chico State
2009 Chico State Alaska Anchorage
2010 Alaska Anchorage Alaska Anchorage
2011 Alaska Anchorage Alaska Anchorage
Team Score Record:
Men: UC Davis, 17, 2000
Women: Alaska Anchorage, 27, 2011
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