Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Kellen Levy leads the Tritons into the CCAA Championships in his senior season.
Cross Country Heads to Chico for CCAA Championship
Release: Thursday 10/24/2013 

Saturday, Oct. 26
California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships
Chico • Hooker Oak Park
Men's HomepageWomen's Homepage
Forecast: Sunny and 83 degrees

Men • 9 a.m.
Women • 10 a.m.

The women will run a 6k course and the men will go 8k.

Located in Chico’s Bidwell Park, the course includes huge oak trees and a scenic creek to create a beautiful running atmosphere. The course consists of flat, shaded fire roads and rugged hilly trails. Check out a video of the course, courtesy of Chico State, by clicking here.

The race will feature No. 5 Chico State, No. 17 Cal Poly Pomona, Humboldt State, San Francisco State, Cal State Stanislaus, Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay.

The meet will feature No. 7 Chico State, No. 25 Cal State Stanislaus, Humboldt State, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State L.A., San Francisco State, Cal State San Bernardino, Sonoma State, Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay.

Chico last hosted the CCAA Championships in 2003, a year where the UCSD women's team placed second and the men finished third. In 2006, the Wildcats hosted the NCAA West Regional Championship. The Triton women placed third in the regional, while the men finished fifth. Chico will be unveiling a new course in 2013 for the championship meet.

On the men’s side, the Wildcats of Chico State have a target on their back as the 11-time defending CCAA champions. They also have 14 consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA championships. In the meet hosted by the Tritons last season, Chico placed first with 23 points while Humboldt State came in second with 81 points. The Tritons finished one point behind the ‘Jacks with 82 points, good for third place. The Wildcats had the top two finishers in the event in Issac Chavez (25:41) and Alfonso Cisneros (25:43.8), both which are back in 2013. UCSD was led by Tanner Collins, who placed 15th with a time of 26:12.2, and Scott Acton, who finished 17th with a time of 26:27.8. Collins was named to the 2012 All-CCAA team for his finish, while Acton received Freshman of the Year honors.

The Chico State women’s team enters as the favorites after winning its fifth straight conference title in 2012, and has finished inside the nation’s top 10 in 11 straight seasons. The Wildcats won the event at UCSD in 2012 with a mere 35 points. Cal State Stanislaus finished second with 82 points, while Humboldt State placed third with 95 points, respectively. The Tritons earned a fourth place finish with 115 points, led by Marie Diaz. She earned the conference Freshman of the Year award after finishing ninth overall with a time of 22:22. Humboldt State’s Bridget Berg won the event with a time of 21:48.5 and was named the CCAA Runner of the Year.

Scott Acton and company is coming off a strong showing at the 21st Annual Triton Classic, placing second in the team scoring. Acton crossed the finish line in the seventh spot as the top finisher for UCSD with a time of 26:05.6, while teammate Kellen Levy placed 10th at 26:15.8. Senior’s Matt Lenehan and Mario Flores came in 15th and 20th, respectively, and will look to carry the momentum into this weekend in their final CCAA Championships. In all, the men's squad will feature Acton, Levy, Lenehan, Flores, Collins, Tareq Alwafai, Daniel Hauptman, Daniel Franz, Charles Morgan and Brendan Gee.

Marie Diaz is sprinting into the conference meet after earning a third place finish at the Triton Classic. She powered UCSD to a second-place finish, just two points behind Chico State, after running a time of 22:35.9. Three more Tritons finished inside the top 10, as Chandler Colquitt placed fifth with a time of 22:49.5, Michelle Le Roux finished in the sixth at 22:53.8 and Paige Hughes came in seventh crossing the finish line at 22:55.3. The Tritons will also be looking for strong showings from senior Chia Chang in her final CCAA Championship meet, while junior Madison Tanner returns for UCSD after missing the Triton Classic. The women’s team will consist of Diaz, Colquitt, Le Roux, Hughes, Chang, Tanner, Ximena Cruz, Alia Bales, Ella Verhees and Madison Hills.

The UCSD men’s squad is receiving votes in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll. The Tritons are one of three CCAA schools in the rankings, as Chico State is tabbed at No. 5 and Cal Poly Pomona is ranked No. 17. In the USTFCCCA regional polls, the men currently sit at No. 6 while the women grasp the No. 5 ranking in the West.

This season's rosters feature many student-athletes from the San Diego area. The men's list includes Carlos Bojorquez (San Diego/Kearny HS), Brendan Gee (Rancho Bernardo/Rancho Bernardo HS), Mike Kloha (San Diego/Westview HS) and Matt Lenehan (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS). Women hailing from San Diego County include Raelene Dearmas (Chula Vista/Bonita Vista Senior HS), Isabella Gallo (San Diego/Westview HS), Paige Hughes (San Diego/Valhalla HS), Michelle Le Roux (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS), Ella Verhees (San Diego/Point Loma HS) and Amanda Weber (San Diego/Westview HS).

Five Tritons earned captain roles this season, including juniors Alia Bales and Anneke Kakebeen and senior Ximena Cruz on the women's side, as well as seniors Mario Flores and Kellen Levy for the men.

UCSD spent 10 days in the Mammoth Lakes region for a high-altitude training camp at the start of 2013. Click here to view a photo gallery from the trip.

Former Triton student-athlete Nate Garcia is in his seventh season as head coach of the UCSD cross country program. He took over the reins in 2007 after spending five seasons as an assistant coach. Garcia was a four-year letterwinner in cross country and track at UCSD from 1996-2000. He earned numerous athletic and academic honors, including All-Academic District VIII and CCAA All-Academic accolades in 2000-01.

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The Tritons will travel to Spokane, Wash. to compete in the NCAA Divison II West Regional Championships on Nov. 9. The top-five team finishers will qualify for the National Championship on Nov. 23, as well as the top-two finishers from non-advancing teams will qualify for the event in Spokane, Wash.


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