Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Junior Chia Chang looks to lead the Tritons to another strong team finish on Saturday.
Tritons to Take on All Levels at Saturday's adidas/UC Irvine Invitational
Release: Thursday 09/06/2012 
The Schedule
Meet No. 2
2012 adidas/UC Irvine Cross Country Invitational
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 • 8:30 a.m.
UC Irvine Anteater Recreation Center Field • Irvine, Calif.

This First Up
The UC San Diego cross country teams will make their way to the annual adidas/UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday, just eight days after the men and women took first and second, respectively, in team points at the UC San Diego Opener. Saturday's meet will take place at the Anteater Recreation Center Fields, where four races will be run. Both the men and women will compete in the 'A' events. The women's 5,000 meter 'A' Race is slated to commence at 8:30 a.m. and precedes the men's 8,000 meter 'A' event at 9 a.m.

The Competition
UCSD will face schools from NCAA Division I, II and III as well as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and several junior colleges. The women will face Arkansas, Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, Central Arizona, Cal State Northridge, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State San Marcos, Grand Canyon, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, UC Irvine and USC. Meanwhile, the men's field will also feature APU, CBU, CAC, CSUN, CSUSM, GCU, LBSU, LMU and UCI in addition to Cal Coast, Cal Lutheran, Chapman, El Camino, Glendale (Ariz.), Hope, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer, Soka, The Master's College, Vanguard and 31 unattached runners.

Moving Four-ward
For the fourth straight year, the Tritons will compete in the adidas/UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday. Last year, the women finished sixth out of 16 teams in the 'A' race while the men placed second among 13 schools, finishing just one point behind first-place CSUSM.

"Both of our squads put in some hard work this week yet we know that they will be ready to race hard on Saturday," said UCSD head coach Nate Garcia. "The men lost this meet by one point last year so they are going to do what they can to try and claim the top spot. The women's field looks to be really deep with not only strong teams from California in the field but also the University of Arkansas making the trip out West so our women are looking forward to racing some really good teams and measuring themselves against the field."

Division Dominance
UCSD's men started the season with a one-sided performance, taking 14 of the top 15 spots, to beat both Point Loma Nazarene and Long Beach City College. The women were second overall but were first among Division II competition. The Triton women finished with 49 points, trailing first-place San Diego State by 23 points, while defeating Cal State L.A., PLNU and CSUSB.

Leave It to Levy
Coming off the heels of his first-place finish in the UC San Diego Opener on Friday, junior Kellen Levy was named the 2012 season's first California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week. Levy crossed the finish line of the four-mile race at 21:39.2 and is expected to turn in similar performances in what is predicted to be a year to remember for the Fresno, Calif. native. Compared to last year, Levy improved his time by 25 seconds, when he finished fifth overall and second among Tritons.

"We were really pleased to see that Kellen's effort at the Opener meet was recognized by the CCAA," Garcia said. "It is a big honor to be named Athlete of the Week in our sport and something that we are both happy about and something that we hope to duplicate in coming weeks. Kellen will look to carry this momentum forward into the UCI Invite this weekend."

The Times They Are A-Chang-in'
Picking up where she left off last year, the sky's the limit for Chia Chang. In the UC San Diego Opener, Chang was UCSD's top runner and placed third overall with a time of 15:20.8. Chang will look to improve upon her great performance from last year's Asics/UC Irvine Invitational in which she placed 14th overall as the top-finishing Triton with a time of 18:12.1. The Anaheim, Calif. native was the Tritons' top finisher in all six meets she competed in last year.

The Freshmen Front
Out of the 14 Tritons who finished in the top 15 of the men's race on Friday, five were freshmen. Even more impressive was three of those freshmen finished among the top five overall finishers. Scott Acton (21:56.7), Eddie Carrillo (22:18.3) and Tareq Alwafai (22:18.6) finished second, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the UC San Diego Opener while newcomers Daniel Franz (22:39.4, 11th) and Charles Morgan (23:09.9, 14th) also had strong debuts. Freshmen Marie Diaz (15:32.9, 7th) and Carolina Guzman (15:45.7, 8th) each played pivotal roles in the Triton women's team score. Diaz occupied the second slot, and Guzman captured the third.

Socially Abundant
There are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. Of course, you've always got 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.

2012 CCAA Championships
UCSD will be hosting the 2012 CCAA Championships on Saturday, Oct. 20. The men's 8k race will begin at 9 a.m. and will be followed by the women's 6k race at 10 a.m. On the men's side, the Tritons will face Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State East Bay, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus, Chico State, Humboldt State and San Francisco State. The women will compete against all of the aforementioned teams in addition to Cal State L.A., Cal State San Bernardino and Sonoma State. Please stay tuned for updates regarding the meet in the upcoming weeks.

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