IRVINE, Calif. -
The UC San Diego cross country teams hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday, taking part in the Asics/UC Irvine Invitational at the Anteater Recreation Center Field. Competing against mostly Division I opponents, the Triton men finished sixth out of 19 teams in the men's 8k invitational, while the women placed 10th in the 10-team 5k ‘A' invite.
After breaking the tape in UCSD's opener last weekend, redshirt senior Jesse Morrill was the Tritons' top individual finisher again on Saturday, placing 18th overall with a final time of 25:37.0. Morrill finished 10 spots in front of teammate Mario Flores, who finished 28th at 26:04.3.
Sophomore Matt Lenehan was UCSD's third-fastest finisher, completing the course with a 38th place time of 26:12.2. Kellen Levy and Anthony Heredia were the Tritons' final two scorers on the day, finishing 51st and 57th with times of 26:30.2 and 26:37.0, respectively.
UCSD tallied 163 points to finish 22 behind fifth place Cal State San Marcos and claim sixth place in this event for the second year in a row. Host UC Irvine placed six runners in the top 25 to win the invitational with 76 points, while Cal Poly was second with 110 and The Master's College scored 131 points to finish third.
Freshman Chia Chang had another strong performance on the women's side, leading the Triton contingent with a 30th place finish of 18:37.9. The Yorba Linda native was UCSD's top individual finisher last week as well, finishing third overall with a 2.5 mile time of 15:45.
Aaryn Kobayashi had the next-highest finish for the Tritons, placing 36th overall at 18:49.6. Catherine Crisp, Jackie Sikkema and Katie Kane rounded out the scoring for UCSD, finishing with respective times of 19:14.0, 19:14.2 and 19:37.1. Crisp finished in 50th place, Sikkema took 52nd and Kane placed 63rd.
One of only two non-Division I units competing in the second women's invitational, UCSD finished with 207 points on the day, just four behind ninth place Cal State Bakersfield. Cal Poly won the event with 42 points, while Azusa Pacifc was second with 80 and Cal State San Marcos tallied 107 to take third.
Head coach Nate Garcia's squad is back in action next weekend when UCSD takes part in the San Diego State Aztec Invitational Saturday beginning at 8:15 a.m.