LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego cross country teams had a solid showing on their home course on Saturday, posting a pair of top four finishes in the annual Triton Classic on the UCSD campus. The Tritons finished second out of five teams in the 10k men's race, while the women took fourth in a 13-team field in their 6k run.
UCSD posted second and fourth place finishes in this event for the second year in a row.
"In this race we really wanted to get a measure of where we stood in the conference," head coach Nate Garcia said. "We ran well today and it will be interesting to see how we race against the other teams in the conference going forward."
Redshirt senior Jesse Morrill turned in another tremendous effort on his home course, finishing third overall to lead the way for the UCSD men. His time of 32.10.3 was a personal best in the 10k and the performance marked his second top three finish of the season (he broke the tape in UCSD's season opener on September 7).
"Jesse had a great bounce back from last time out," Garcia added. "He wasn't real happy with his performance in Minnesota and he was really focused on doing well here on the home course. He ran strong and controlled and we're really proud of him."
Three other Tritons finished in the top 10, as Matt Lenehan, Kellen Levy and Mario Flores placed seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Lenehan clocked in at 33:27.8, while Levy posted a time of 33:36.1 and Flores came in at 33:40.8. John Svet was final UCSD scorer on the day, finishing 14th overall with a time of 33:48.1.
With four runners in the top nine and five in the first 14, UCSD scored a total of 41 points, just five shy of event winner Cal Poly Pomona. The Broncos had five of the top 11 finishers, led by Matt Prentice's fourth place showing at 32:52.0. Central Arizona took third with 47 points thanks to first and second place finishers by Henry Lelei and Justice David. Lelei's time of 30:22.9 smashed the old course record of 31:07.2, set by Central Arizona's Jordan Chipangama two years ago.
Lelei was also the individual winner at last year's Triton Classic, besting the field with a time of 31:11.4.
Aaryn Kobayashi was the top individual finisher for the Tritons on the women's side, placing 12th overall with a time of 23:37.9. She finished two spots in front of teammate Jackie Sikkema, who posted a time of 23:42.3, while Chia Chang clocked in at 23:52.9 to finish 20th. Kamilah Foley and Kathryn Turner rounded out the scoring for UCSD, claiming 28th and 38th place, respectively. Foley posted a time of 24:19.6, while Turner finished in 24:38.1.
UCSD's scores added up to a total of 111 points, which was nine more than third place Central Arizona. Cal Poly Pomona was also victorious on the women's side, collecting three of the top 10 finishes for 54 points, while San Diego State scored 78 to finish second.
The Tritons will now take next weekend off, before traveling to South El Monte, Calif. for the CCAA Preview Meet on Saturday, October 23. That event is scheduled to get underway at 8:00 a.m.