MONMOUTH, Ore. — UC San Diego Senior Ella Verhees (San Diego/Point Loma HS) finished ninth overall en route to earning all-West Region honors at the 2017 NCAA Division II cross country West Regional on Saturday morning at Ash Creek Preserve, and hopes to qualify for the NCAA Championships when at-large selections are announced Monday.
Verhees crossed the finish line in the 6K race in 21-minutes, 30.4-seconds, lifting the UC San Diego women to an 11th-place finish out of 30 teams with 325 points.
Senior Kristin Semancsin (San Diego/Valhalla HS) placed 41st overall with a time of 22:08.5, junior Karina Carstens took 82nd at 22:54.7, junior Shalyn Mabritto was 94th (23:04.5) and senior Merin Arft was 102nd (23:16.1).
Verhees is seeking to become the first Triton to qualify for the national meet as an individual since Bre Schofield in 2008.
A 2017 All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) performer, Verhees has finished first for the Tritons in six-consecutive meets. The San Diego native was named CCAA Runner of the Week on Oct. 9 two days after placing first among all collegiate runners at the 25th annual Triton Classic.
Semancsin also earned All-CCAA honors this season, finishing the season with four top-15 overall finishes.
Cal Baptist took first place overall on the women’s side with 68 points, followed by Alaska Anchorage (84) in second and fellow CCAA member Chico State (105) in third. Alaska Anchorage senior Caroline Kurgat placed first overall individually with a time of 20:26.1, with the Cal Baptist duo of sophomore Anett Somogyi (21:04.5) and junior Emeline Delanis (21:08.6) taking second and third respectively.
On the men’s side, UC San Diego finished 10th overall out of 27 teams in the 10K competition with 299 points, led by junior Aren Johnson’s (San Diego/Army & Navy Academy) 20th-place finish (30:53.4). Johnson also earned all-West Region honors.
Senior Garrett Lepine took 42nd place with a time of 31:23.5, sophomore Timothy Corvese placed 65th at 31:51.2, junior Joseph Benrubi was 82nd at 32:09.6, junior Garrett Boulais was 90th at 32:22.4 and freshman Elijah Horwitz was 100th at 32:30.4.
Johnson, an All-CCAA performer for the second-consecutive season, recorded a top team finish for the Tritons for the third time this year.
CCAA rival Chico State finished first for the third-straight season with 55 points, followed by Cal Baptist (84) in second and host Western Oregon (121) in third. Western Oregon senior David Ribich placed first overall individually in front of his home crowd with a time of 29:49.2, while Chico State senior Kyle Medina was second at 29:57.5 and Cal Baptist freshman McMarshall Hartzenburg took third at 29:59.9.