Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Seniors Shalyn Mabritto (left), Nick Famolaro and Alexandra Hernandez will compete in their final Triton Classic on Saturday.

Unlike Any Other: 26th Annual Triton Classic Set for Saturday Morning


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LA JOLLA, Calif. — It’s a course synonymous with the name of the sport.

The 26th annual Triton Classic is set for Saturday, Oct. 20 at UC San Diego’s North Campus Course. The men’s 8K is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., with the women’s 6K to follow at 9 a.m.

There will also be an Alumni Athlete Barbecue on the grass field following the event at 12 p.m., as part of Homecoming Weekend.

But more than just an opportunity to compete in front of family, friends, alumni and local spectators, it’s a chance to compete on a course not many other venues can replicate.

“It’s sort of cross country from yesteryear,” said UC San Diego head coach Nate Garcia, who enters his 23rd-consecutive Triton Classic as either a coach or student-athlete. “It’s like running across the country side as opposed to somewhere manicured and controlled.

“It creates its own unique set of challenges, but as a student-athlete, it’s a lot of fun. It’s something different than what you do the rest of the year.”

Located within the eucalyptus forest of the La Jolla campus, the course has varying terrain of grass and dirt trails.

There’s certainly a home-course advantage. Last year, the UC San Diego men placed first with the women finishing second.

This time around, it serves as the Tritons’ final regular-season meet before the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships on Nov. 3 in San Bernardino, Calif.

However, the upcoming schedule won’t have much impact on the way UC San Diego approaches Saturday’s home event.

“It’s sort of business as usual as we go through this one,” said Garcia. “The (CCAA Championships) are fast approaching, but we’ll have a full training cycle after this to really prepare for it. We’re not tapering down or peaking up for this race at all.”

With the Triton men’s team ranked No. 22 in the nation and the women already earning a pair of third-place finishes this season, there’s a high level of anticipation leading up to Saturday.

“It’s great to be able to host a meet, get people on campus and give them an opportunity to compete on our unique course,” said Garcia. “We love being able to host things here for our team’s sake, for their families and for the department.

“So we’re very excited about it. It should be a really competitive race on both sides and a good test for our group.”

Triton Classic
Saturday, Oct. 20
Men's 8k • 8 a.m.
Women's 6k • 9 a.m. 
Forecast: Sunny, a high of 79 degrees. Wind: 13 mph
Meet Information
Live Results

The University of California San Diego men's and women's cross country teams host the 26th annual Triton Classic on Saturday, Oct. 20. Admission is free.

The men's 8K race kicks things off at 8 a.m., followed by the women's 6K race at 9 a.m. It will be followed by an Alumni Athlete Barbecue on the grass field of Triton Track & Field Stadium as part of Homecoming Weekend beginning at 12 p.m. The Triton Classic marks the final regular-season meet for UC San Diego before the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships on Nov. 3. Live results will be provided by Finished Results.

Site: UC San Diego North Campus Course
Terrain: The course varies in terrain from grass to dirt trails with concrete and asphalt mixed in.
A Look From Above: Check out an overview map of the 6k course by clicking here. For the 8k course, click here.

Parking is available, free of charge, in the Hopkins Parking Structure. Follow the Campus Loop Road past Triton Track & Field Stadium (on left). The Hopkins Parking Structure will be located on the right side, adjacent to RIMAC Arena. For more information on directions, click here.

The UC San Diego men are ranked No. 22 in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll, and No. 5 in the West Region. Meanwhile, the Triton women are ranked No. 10 in the West Region. For full national and regional rankings, click here.

This year's field is made up primarily of Division II opponents, including fellow CCAA rivals Chico State, Cal State LA, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal State San Marcos. West Region foes Point Loma, Azusa Pacific and Academy of Art will also be in attendance, as well as Dixie State, Loyola Marymount, the University of New Mexico women and UC San Diego alumni.

Men's 8k: Academy of Art, Azusa Pacific, Cal State LA, Cal State San Marcos, No. 4 Chico State, Dixie State, Glendale College, Loyola Marymount, No. 22 UC San Diego, UC San Diego Alumni.

Women's 6k: Academy of Art, No. 11 Azusa Pacific, Cal State LA, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State San Marcos, No. 7 Chico State, Dixie State, Glendale College, Loyola Marymount, New Mexico, Point Loma, UC San Diego, UC San Diego Alumni.

Saturday will mark the 26th running of the Triton Classic. The UC San Diego men have finished in first place in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017. The women came out winners in 2005, 2011 and 2014. Last season, the men placed first with the women finishing second. For a recap of last year's Triton Classic, click here.

Saturday's meet will represent the 23rd-consecutive Triton Classic for head coach Nate Garcia. A former UC San Diego cross country student-athlete, Garcia ran for the Tritons during the fourth annual Triton Classic in 1996 and competed in his last one in 2000. Ever since the ninth running of the Triton Classic in 2001, Garcia has attended the meet as a member of the UC San Diego coaching staff.

This season's UC San Diego rosters feature several student-athletes from San Diego County. The local women include junior Alexandra Hernandez (El Cajon/Granite Hills HS), sophomore Laura Moran (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS) and freshman Zoie Valencia (San Marcos/San Marcos HS). The men's list includes senior Nick Famolaro (San Diego/West Hills HS), senior Aren Johnson (San Diego/Army and Navy Academy), junior Burak Tufekci (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS), sophomore Jake Selstad (San Marcos/San Marcos HS) freshman Noah Monroy (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) and freshman Brad Nelson (Carlsbad/Sage Creek HS). 

The Tritons await the 2018 CCAA Championships at Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday, Nov. 3.

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With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country.  The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference.  UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent.  A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.  In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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