Meet No. 5
2012 CCAA Championships
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 • 9 a.m.
North Campus Course • La Jolla, Calif.
The Final Rundown
After a strong showing for the UC San Diego cross country teams at the 20th Annual Triton Classic on Oct. 6, the men and women will take on their respective conference foes and hosting duties at the 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships on Saturday. The men will commence the conference championships with their 8k race at 9 a.m. prior to the women's 6k race at 10 a.m. With this event, the Tritons will not only host the conference championships but also present consecutive meets for the first time in six years.
The Triton women maintained their No. 30 ranking in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II poll, released on Oct. 17, for the third straight week. The women placed third overall out of 22 schools at the 20th Annual Triton Classic and first among competing CCAA teams. They are ranked third among all CCAA schools, behind Chico State at No. 6 and Humboldt State at No. 25. In the West Region, the women are sixth overall while CSUC and HSU occupy second and fifth, respectively. Alaska Anchorage (No. 1), Simon Fraser (No. 3) and Seattle Pacific (No. 4) are all members of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC).
In the USTFCCCA men's regional poll released the same day, UCSD is ranked seventh in the West Region and fourth among conference teams, including CSUC in first, HSU in fifth and San Francisco State in sixth. GNAC schools such as UAA, Western Washington and Western Oregon presently hold slots No. 2 through No. 4, respectively.
The Conference Confers
On the men's side, the Tritons will face Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State East Bay, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus, CSUC, HSU and SFSU. The women will compete against all seven aforementioned teams in addition to Cal State L.A., Cal State San Bernardino and Sonoma State.
Just a Leap Year Ago ...
The UCSD men and women placed third and fourth, respectively, in last year's CCAA Championships. The men contributed a team score of 84 (10-17-18-19-20) and trailed second-place SFSU (67) by 17 points and first-place CSUC (16) by 68. Junior Kellen Levy (26:44.8, 20th), junior Ben Rich (26:47.6, 21st) and junior Mario Flores (27:01.0, 26th) are the three returners who placed among the Tritons top seven at the 2011 CCAA Championships in Santa Rosa.
The women, in last year's CCAA Championships, finished with a team score of 103 (7-13-18-28-37). Even more impressive is that six of their top seven from that race are returning this year, including junior Chia Chang (21:34.8, 7th), sophomore Michelle Le Roux (21:56.9, 13th), sophomore Dani Brabender (22:08.8, 18th), sophomore Alia Bales (22:35.7, 30th) and senior Ximena Cruz (22:57.4, 40th), who all scored for the Tritons. UCSD trailed third-place CSULA (100) by three points, second-place CPP (98) by five and conference champion CSUC (37) by 66.
Men Go Two in a Row
With their first-place team finish out of 14 teams at the Triton Classic, the men won back-to-back meets for the first time since the 2008 season when they took the team crown at the CSUSB Coyote Invitational (Sept. 20, 2008) and followed that with a win at the SRU Pre-National Invitational, held in Slippery Rock, Pa., on Oct. 4, 2008.
In a race that would have made the late Steve Prefontaine proud, sophomore Tanner Collins completely dominated the men's 8k race at the 20th Annual Triton Classic. Collins not only won the race by 2.7 seconds, but he also led the race at every mile marker of the nearly five-mile event. The Aliso Viejo native crossed the finish line in 26:15.0 while leading the Triton men to the team title. With their combined team score of 25 points (1-4-5-6-9), the men cruised to their team victory, easily beating out D-I Loyola Marymount with 85 points.
Turn It Up to 11
Just as the Triton women will be facing all 10 CCAA opponents on Saturday, Chang will vie to extend her streak of consecutive races as UCSD's top finisher from 10 to 11. Chang placed seventh overall and first among UCSD runners for the 10th straight meet with a finishing time of 22:38.8 in the 20th Annual Triton Classic.
Scouting the Broncos
In her three races this season for Cal Poly Pomona, Tiffany Dinh has been the Broncos' top runner. She finished 25th overall at the 20th Annual Triton Classic (23:34.5) on Oct. 6 and eighth among CCAA runners. Lizette Huerta (23:35.5, 26th) crossed the finish right behind Dinh while Regina Lopez (23:39.0, 43rd), Juliana Ruffolo (24:16.7, 63rd) and Johannah Murray (24:35.5, 75th) rounded out the score sheet. On the men's side, Ryan Carrell has taken the top slot for the Broncos in both of his races. Carrell (24:35.1) placed seventh overall in the UC Riverside Invitational on Sept. 25 and third overall (25:16.8) in the Broncos' first-place team finish at the Pomona Pitzer Invitational on Sept. 29. Brandon Haugen (25:50.0, 13th), Gustavo Cruz (26:02.6, 16th), William Tsai (26:14.4, 23rd) and John Dominguez (26:31.7, 31st) all figured into CPP's score in that meet.
Scouting the Pioneers
Whenever both Celina Vera and Robin McClinton have competed in a race for the Cal State East Bay women's team this season, they have finished either at the No. 1 or No. 2 slot for the Pioneers. McClinton (25:25, 9th) and Vera (26:23, 9th) led the Pioneers to a first-place team title at the Mills College Invitational on Sept. 15 with Imani Heath (26:39, 10th), Vanessa Mares (26:53, 11th) and Amanda McNabb (27:20, 20th) all contributing to the score. For the men, Will Weekes has preceded all Pioneers at the finish line. Weekes (28:08) placed fifth overall at the Mills College Invitational, and he was followed by Jose Gonzalez (29:13, 12th), Chris Gallagher (29:50, 21st), Justin Pryor (30:21, 26th) and John Vergara (30:50, 33rd) in the men's fourth-place team finish.
Scouting the Otters
There may not be a more experienced and tight-knit twosome this season in the CCAA than Hannah Bell and Jennie Yeaman who have gone first and second, respectively, among all CSUMB women in all six races the Otters have competed in this season. The women have a season-high team finish of second overall at the Mills College Invitational on Sept. 15 and took 14th at the Triton Classic on Oct. 6, in which Bell (23:36.1) and Yeaman (24:14.0) were 27th and 57th overall, respectively, and followed by Cristina Hernandez (25:12.1, 116th), Sara Dionne (25:14.9, 121st) and Kelly Mayer (25:21.4, 126th). The men have been consistently led by Ben Garland, who led the Otters to a ninth-place finish at the Triton Classic. Garland (27:22.2, 29th) topped a list of scorers that included Karson Hayden (28:57.5, 85th), Logan Coe (29:03.7, 88th), Eric Jackson II (29:19.2, 95th) and Daniel Metzger (29:39.2, 103rd).
Scouting the Warriors
While their order of top-five finishers may switch around from race to race, the Warriors have a solid quintet. Courtney Anderson has been the CSUS women's top runner in their last three races, including the San Francisco State Gator Invitational on Sept. 14, where the Warriors placed second as a team in the 6k race and Anderson (22:14) placed second overall individually. Anderson was succeeded by Rachel Naranjo (22:34, 5th), Dallas Campbell (22:55, 14th), Rubye Elhard (23:16, 19th) and Lizzie Grolle (23:46, 25th). At the same meet, the men's team also took home second place. Dawson Vorderbruegge, who has led the Warriors in every race this season, placed third overall, crossing the finish line at 25:43. Vorderbruegge began a string of Warrior finishers, which included Anthony Fagundes (26:55, 18th), Kanwar Dhaliwal (26:58, 19th), Terrance Ellis (26:59, 21st) and Tyler Thiele (27:18, 25th).
Scouting the Wildcats
The perennial favorites going into both the men's 8k and women's 6k races, the Wildcats have raced in three consecutive meets in which the majority of their competition are NCAA Division I teams. On the women's side, the Wildcats (No. 6 in D-II) had their best showing in a 6k race at the West Coast Conference (WCC) Preview on Sept. 15. Led by 11th-place finisher Ayla Granados (21:43.68), Chico State placed third overall. Amy Schnittger (22:03.40, 16th), Sara Mikesell (22:16.24, 22nd), Paige Henker (22:17.09, 23rd) Rebekah Bahra (22:44.81, 36th) all factored into the Wildcats' team score. The men, who are ranked No. 3 in D-II, placed second overall at the WCC Preview and finished third at the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 29. At the Stanford Invitational, Isaac Chavez (24:33, 10th) led a group of scorers, including Adrian Sherrod (24:53, 20th), Alfonso Cisneros (25:04, 28th), Dayne Gradone (25:11, 33rd) and Aaron Thomas (25:23, 44th).
One of the top contenders in the CCAA is the Lumberjacks. The women are ranked No. 25 in the nation, the men are No. 23, and both teams are ranked fifth in the region. The women have placed first as a team in two meets this season, including the Crystal Springs Invitational on Oct. 6. Devon Kelsey won the race with a time of 22:47 and was accompanied by Raven Harrison (22:58.08, 5th), Nina Carson (23:28, 6th), Amanda Reynolds (23:57, 11th) and Jessica Bath (24:15, 18th) on the score sheet. The men have settled for second as a team twice this season, including the Humboldt State Invitational, where Austin Huff (24:52.36, 2nd) topped a list of HSU scorers that included Joe Ostini (25:25.24, 5th), Jantzen Oshier (24:44.97, 7th), Edgar Lopez (25:47.94, 8th) and Maxmillian Bell (25:54.54, 11th).
Scouting the Gators
The Gators are making a big push to be a strong contender late in the season, especially on the women's side, which has taken second as a team in their last two races. Topping the SFSU score sheet for the Crystal Springs Invitational on Oct. 6 was Zuleima Jimenez, who placed third overall with a time of 22:56. Also placing in the top 10 was Kaylie Belk (23:43, 7th), who was followed by Alicia Trujillo (23:55, 29th), Lindsey Ragas (24:07, 14th) and Monique Diaz (24:14, 17th). The men, who ranked sixth in the West Region, placed first in the SFSU Gator Invitational on Sept. 14 and were led by fifth-place finisher Bruk Assefa (26:07). Tyler Deniston (26:11, 7th), Ryan Woods (26:20, 8th), Logan Smith (26:38, 12th) and Ryan Chio (26:49, 17th) also contributed to this race among others this season.
Scouting the Golden Eagles
The women of CSULA are ranked ninth regionally and will need to have a stellar performance in the CCAA Championships in order to go to the West Regional Championships on Nov. 3. Sabrina Lopez has been the Golden Eagles' No. 1 runner in three races this season, including the UCSD Opener on Aug. 31, which she won in 15:07.6 en route to a third-place team finish in the 5k race. At the Triton Classic on Oct. 6, Lopez placed ninth and came across the finish line in 22:47.2 as CSULA's No. 2 runner. Lisa Ohberg (22:14.6) led the Golden Eagles to a seventh-place team finish and was the individual runner-up. Occupying the No. 3 through No. 5 slots for CSULA in that race, respectively, were Cassie Mejia (22:58.9, 12th), Damanjot Kaur (24:54.0, 98th) and Alyssa Vaughn (25:12.7, 117th).
Scouting the Coyotes
The Coyotes were fifth and 10th during the UCSD Opener on Aug. 31 and the Triton Classic on Oct. 6, respectively. In the Triton Classic, Katherine Gomez was the first Coyote to finish in the women's 6k race, placing 30th overall with a finishing time of 23:38.6. Not far behind Gomez were Patricia Cortez (23:47.0, 35th) and Deserae Perez (23:50.8, 38th) while Sara Colorado (24:34.4, 74th) and Mariisela Giles (24:57.9, 105th) rounded out CSUSB's top five. The Coyotes ended their day with a 10th-place team finish.
Scouting the Seawolves
Kelli Bercier and Alicia Leuth have been the top two runners for the Seawolves this season. In the five meets in which they have competed, Bercier has topped the Seawolves' score card three times and Leuth has done so twice. In addition, they were either the No. 1 or No. 2 runner in each of the first three meets of the 2012 season. The SSU women made their biggest impact at the Humboldt State Invite on Sept. 8, in which the Seawolves placed third as a team. During the meet, Bercier finished third individually with a time of 22:40.96. Leuth took 12th and Veronica Kays finished 15th with times of 23:33.85 and 23:47.57, respectively. This preceded the back-to-back finishes of Rachel Borg (24:14.79, 22nd) and Savannah Silacci (24:15.67, 23rd).
UC San Diego Athletics, in conjunction with the San Diego Food Bank, is taking part in the 2012 Colleges Rock Hunger Campaign for the remainder of the month of October. The initiative provides nourishment for San Diego families in need. Anyone who brings a non-perishable food item to a UCSD intercollegiate sporting event will be admitted free of charge. Help a great cause and enjoy some exciting collegiate athletics at the same time!
The Gear Is Here
UC San Diego Athletics is excited to announce a new partnership with Advanced-Online, which will provide a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD Tritons athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans will have access to over 600 products that can be produced and shipped in 24 hours. Advanced-Online will also offer special event and championship gear. Access the site at UCSDtritonsgear.com.
There are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. Of course, you've always got ucsdtritons.com at your disposal, but our social media scene is growing by the hour. Get instant updates on UCSD Athletics on Twitter @UCSDtritons and like us on Facebook at UCSDtritons. For a more visual approach, watch us on YouTube. For all things UCSD cross country, be sure to follow @UCSDXC.
Past CCAA Team Champions
Year Men Women
2000-01 UC Davis UC Davis
2001-02 UC Davis UC Davis
2002-03 Chico State Chico State
2003-04 Chico State Chico State
2004-05 Chico State Chico State
2005-06 Chico State UC San Diego
2006-07 Chico State Chico State
2007-08 Chico State Cal State L.A.
2008-09 Chico State Chico State
2009-10 Chico State Chico State
2010-11 Chico State Chico State
2011-12 Chico State Chico State
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