Photo by: UC San Diego Athletics
Johnson, Rocke and Blake tabbed All-CCAA honors in Arcata this Saturday.

Rocke, Johnson and Blake Secure All-CCAA Awards at Conference Championships

UC San Diego

ARCATA, Calif. – The University of California San Diego cross country teams performed in their final California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships this Saturday morning in Arcata. Hosted by Humboldt State at Baywood Golf & Country Club, the No. 17 women placed fourth in the 6K, as the No. 19 men wrapped up third in the 8K. 

Freshman Samantha Rocke and redshirt seniors, Aren Johnson and Sam Blake were each named All-CCAA upon crossing the finish line in the top 15 of their respective races. 

The entire pack from both sides finished within the top-50, individually.

Both Chico State squads were crowned team champions. It was the 18th straight conference victory for the Wildcat men. 

“We are really pleased with how the teams competed today,” said Head Coach Nate Garcia. “Our conference is one of the toughest in the country and our racers mixed it up with them really well.” 

“Throughout the race our Tritons worked well together and pushed each other.  We are pleased to move up from our finishes from last year and are excited to see this group back in action in a couple weeks,” Garcia added. 

Women’s Recap
Averaging a time of 23-minutes, 0.6-seconds and accumulating a score of 111, the Triton women trailed No. 20 Cal Poly Pomona by 10 points. 

Rocke paced UC San Diego, placing first for the blue and gold and 11th overall with a time of 22-minutes, 41.7-seconds. Having shown early potential in her rookie campaign, the Anaheim native earned recognition amongst the conference in her most recent showing. 

“Sam did an excellent job in her first CCAA Championship meet,” said Garcia. “By getting out a little more aggressively than she has in the past, she positioned herself well and ran an excellent second half. Sam has been a great fit on our team and it was awesome to see her run with confidence and showcase her ability.”

Freshman Caitlin Billman finished 23rd (23:08.1) as senior Camille Perkins trailed right behind in 25th (23:11.7). Sophomore Madalyne Coney (27th/23:13.2) and junior Kendra Corey (29th/23:16.3) stuck close to the pack, contributing to the team effort.

Men’s Recap
UC San Diego recorded a team score of 80 points with a 25-minute, 35-second average, outrunning a competitve No. 22 Cal Poly Pomona.  

Johnson’s swift time of 25-minutes, 01.1-seconds granted him a third-place finish overall. His efforts matched the program’s best individual performance by a male at the CCAA Championship since 1999. Tareq Alwafai took third back in 2016 as well.

In addition, it was the San Diego native’s third time garnering All-CCAA recognition. 

Blake took seventh overall marking a time of 25-minutes, 08.9-seconds as junior Elijah Horwitz (16th/25:29.0) just missed clinching the top-15. Blake was the highest placed second-man for the Tritons since 1998. 

“Our duo of Aren and Sam did a great job working with the leading group and responding to moves throughout the race,” Garcia said. “Once we were in the final 2K of the race, both men made a big push for the finish line.”

Senior Tim Corvese and sophomore Brett Beattie delivered back-to-back placements at 30th (26:08.2) and 31st(26:09.2), respectively. 

The Tritons now prepare for the NCAA West Regional on Nov. 9 in Monmouth, Ore. in an attempt to propel to the NCAA Championships.  

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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