OROVILLE, Calif. – The UC San Diego women’s cross country team placed third while the men finished fifth at the NCAA Division II Cross Country West Regional on Saturday at the Lake Oroville Forebay Aquatics Center. The regional was hosted by Chico State who captured the men’s title while the Cal State L.A. won a tightly contest women’s race.
The top four women’s team finishers advance on to the NCAA National Championships in two weeks, while only the top three men’s teams advance on. The NCAA D-II National Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, November 18 in Pensacola, Fla., as part of the NCAA D-II Championship Festival.
The women’s 6k event was a much closer affair with Cal State L.A.(67 points) edging out Seattle Pacific (70 points), UC San Diego (76 points) and Chico State (77 points). With four women’s team from the West Region qualifying for the NCAA National this year, these same teams will face off in Florida in two weeks. Alaska Anchorage was fifth in the team scoring with 109 points.
Cal State L.A.’s Pilar Delgado (21:25.60), Karla Alburez (21:27.09), and Maija Rhode (21:37.22) finished fourth, fifth, and seventh, respectively. Maribel Cespedes (22:25.73, 25th) and Shawna Burger (22:30.62, 26th) also scored for the Golden Eagles.
Seattle Pacific’s freshman standout Jessica Pixler (20:46.10) won the women’s race by ten seconds over second-place Mary Torres (20:56.93) from Chico State. Finishing third was Katie Hummel (21:10.90) of Central Washington and she, along with Laura Carr (21:47.00, 9th) from Alaska Anchorage earned the two individual qualifying spots.
Diane Dunn was the top finisher for the Triton women, finishing sixth overall with her time of 21:31.05. She was joined on the 15-person All-West Region team by teammate and fellow junior Emily McGregor who finished 10th overall with her time of 21:47.41.
Nina Miller, Amanda Burkhardt and Ashleigh Montgomery finished 19th, 20th and 21st overall, respectively to round out the UCSD scorers. Catherine Strouse finished 48th overall while Jordana Henderson finished in 60th place out of 125 runners.
The Chico State men posted a score of 32 points to earn a trip to the NCAA National Championships in Pensacola, Florida. Cal Poly Pomona (116 points) and Alaska Anchorage (119 points) also qualified as teams. Western Washington finished fourth, just out of the qualifying, with 121 points and UC San Diego (161 points) rounded out the top five schools.
Chico’s Charlie Serrano (32:09.72) and Antonio Miramontes (32:13.89) finished second and third, while Scott Bauhs (32:34.42) was sixth, Kyle Ivie (32:51.87) eighth and Rory Kuykendall (33:09.31) 13th overall. The top 15 finishers receive All-Region honors.
Todd Iacovelli (31:58.35) from Hawaii Pacific won the 10k men’s race by 11 seconds and he, along with fourth-place finisher John Riak of St. Martin’s earned the two individual qualifying spots.
Freshman Jesse Morrill was the top finisher for the UCSD men, crossing the line in a time of 33:05.27, good enough for 11th place overall and a spot on the NCAA D-II All-West Region squad. Jake LeVieux was the next Triton runner to finish, concluding the 8k race in a time of 33:47.45.
Greg Geldman placed 35th, while Dan Holligan and Max Mullender rounded out the UCSD scorers with their 41st and 47th place finishes. Mike Wright came in 56th place while Daniel Anderson finished 61st for the Tritons out of the 107 competitors in the event.