Photo by: UC San Diego Athletics

Tritons Set To Hit the Ground Running This Friday at Cougar Challenge

UC San Diego

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LA JOLLA, Calif– The University of California San Diego men’s and women’s cross country teams will race in the Cal State San Marcos Cougar Challenge this Friday, Sept. 13 at Walnut Grove Park. 

The women’s 6K is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., with the men’s 8K following shortly after at 9:15 a.m. The course features a mix of both grass and dirt with occasional crossings of asphalt trails. 

With both programs coming off valuable team efforts at the Biola Invite on Sept. 7, UC San Diego is striving to place well in it’s first year ever competing in the Cougar Challenge. 

Redshirt senior Sam Blake looks to continue to lead the Tritons after producing a sixth-place finish in last week’s 8K. 

“Biola was a great early-season learning experience for us. We went in with a pretty well-thought plan but the race didn’t go out the way we expected,” said Blake. 

The veteran was the first Triton to cross the finish line, marking a time of 25-minutes, 27.5-seconds. 

“I had a decent day for myself and finished solidly, but I definitely left the course knowing that I will be improving greatly as the season goes on,” Blake added. 

Having recently returned from a 10-day training camp in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. in over 7,000-foot elevation, UC San Diego fell short of execution. However, regardless of the team’s most recent turnout, Blake believes his squad is just as strong as other Triton teams in the past. 

“I’m confident in our training progression and my current fitness, and excited to see how fast we can get,” said Blake.

On the women’s side, in just her sophomore year, Madalyne Coney displayed a noteworthy performance in Fullerton (Biola Invite), placing 17th overall (18:44.2).

“I was super excited to lead the Tritons to a second-place finish. I am so proud of how our team packed up and ran together,” Coney said. 

A narrow 17-second gap between the first five women’s times last week is a testament to the depth of the Tritons this season, according to Coney. 

“I know that the whole team is ready to run fast and hard this Friday,” Coney mentioned. "We’ve had another solid week of training and everyone is ready to go.”

About UC San Diego Athletics
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 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 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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