Blake and Coney Honored as CCAA Runners of the Week
LA JOLLA, Calif. – Redshirt senior Sam Blake and sophomore Madalyne Coney of the University of California San Diego cross country teams have each received CCAA (California Collegiate Athletic Association) Runner of the Week accolades for their stellar performances last Friday. The weekly honors were announced Tuesday afternoon by the conference.
Both Tritons played major roles in their teams’ enriching displays at the Cougar Challenge in San Marcos on Sept. 13. This is the first time Blake or Coney have received the CCAA weekly award.
Blake executed an all-time best in the men’s 8K crossing the finish line in 24-minutes, 11.0-seconds. Blake’s brilliant numbers inched him the individual campion as Queens (N.C.)’s runner-up and 2018 NCAA All-American, Anthony Raftis, trailed by just nine-tenths of second (24:11.9).
The triumph marked Blake’s first ever victory in cross country. In addition, his efforts assisted the Triton pack to a third-place team finish out of the six other competitive participating programs.
Blake’s dramatic win also admitted him national recognition. The Campbell native earned the USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) National Athlete of the Week award for NCAA Division-II Cross Country for the first time in UC San Diego history this week as well.
Coney helped the Tritons to their first collective win of the 2019 season as she placed second overall in the women’s 6K at the Cougar Challenge.
A time of 21-minutes, 12.4-seconds left Coney four seconds behind the overall individual champion, Queens (N.C.)’s senior Hannah Wolkenhauer. In just her sophomore year, Coney neared the veteran who was recently named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week for NCAA Division-II Cross Country on the women’s side.
Five other UC San Diego runners achieved top-15 finishes including three freshmen, thus supporting a 49 point total for the women, ousting host Cal State San Marcos.
Following a pair of successful contests, UC San Diego will rest up this week before traveling to Sacramento for the Capital Cross Challenge on Sept. 28.
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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 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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