Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Mario Flores and the Tritons will look to put distance between themselves and a very competitive field at Plantes Ferry Regional Park in Spokane on Saturday.
UCSD Heads to Washington For Runners Soul Erik Anderson Invitational
Release: Thursday 09/22/2011 
The Schedule
Meet No. 4
Runners Soul Erik Anderson Invitational
Saturday, September 24, 2011 • 10:45 a.m.
Plantes Ferry Regional Park • Spokane, Wash.
Complete Meet Information/Schedule
Meet Results

What's On Tap
After half of the squad ran in the 67th Annual San Diego State Aztec Invitational last weekend, head coach Nate Garcia will now put the other half on a plane bound for Spokane, Wash. to take part in the Runners Soul Erik Anderson Invitational on Saturday. The Triton women will run in the collegiate 6k at 10:45 a.m. in Plantes Ferry Regional Park, while the men will take part in the collegiate 8k at 11:30. Saturday's meet will feature a total of nine races throughout the day, starting with the junior high races at 9:30 a.m.

Racing in Honor of a Local Legend
Saturday's meet will be ran in honor of Erik Anderson, a former Clark County runner and coach who died in a freak accident at a bowling alley in 2009. An NAIA All-American at Linfield College, Anderson went on to coach at Community Colleges of Spokane from 1996-99 alongside head coach Larry Beatty, who established the race in Anderson's name. Anderson was the head coach at Clark Community College from 1999-2003, where he led his women's teams to two consecutive NWAACC titles. Known as the "Little Giant", his influence on Northwest cross country and track athletes was absolutely enormous.

Sneak Preview
Saturday's race will also serve as the NCAA Division II National Preview Meet, as Plantes Ferry Regional Park will play host to the D-II National Championships on Saturday, November 19. UCSD is looking to make a return to the national meet for the first time since 2007 on both the men and women's sides this season.

West Coast Flavor
More than 50 college teams from virtually every level will converge on Spokane for the Erik Anderson Invitational on Saturday. The overwhelming majority of the schools competing are from the West Coast, with several of the region's top squads expected to be on hand. Among the elite D-II squads scheduled to compete in the women's race are Western Washington, Alaska Fairbanks, Seattle Pacific and Western Oregon, which currently rank No. 4, 7, 8 and 9 in the current USTFCCCA West Regional rankings. Taking part in the men's race will be No. 3 Western Washington, No. 4 Western Oregon, No. 7 Northwest Nazarene and No. 9 Seattle Pacific. UCSD is currently ranked No. 8 in the West on the men's side, while the women enter Saturday's race at No. 10.

Tritons Hone Skills at Aztec Invite
With most of the team's top performers sitting the weekend out, the Tritons took part in the annual Aztec Invitational in Balboa Park on Saturday and held their own against a very competitive field. UCSD finished fourth out of five squads in the men's 8k invitational, while the Triton women placed seventh in the eight-team 5k invite. Racing against the likes of UCLA, USC, UNLV and San Diego State, the meet proved to be an invaluable experience for some of the younger members of the squad. For a complete recap of last week's race, click here.

Freshman Fortitude
Freshman Tanner Collins put together a very strong performance on Saturday, leading the Tritons' contingent at the Aztec Invitational. A native of Aliso Viejo, Collins finished 13th overall in the 8k after clocking in at 26:51.8. He came in roughly 86 seconds behind the individual winner - Shayne Collins of UCLA (no relation) - and his time ranks 22nd all-time at UCSD on the Balboa Park course. Collins has now posted two top-15 finishes in his first three races as a Triton.

Turner And Go
While it was rookie leading the way for the Triton men on Saturday, senior Kathryn Turner claimed that honor for UCSD on the women's side. A scorer on three occasions for the Tritons in 2010, Turner posted a 5k time of 19:47.9 at the Aztec Invite, which was good enough for 27th place overall. Her time ranks 16th in the UCSD record books on the Balboa Park course.

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