UC San Diego Athletics and the San Diego Police Department Team Up for Next Level Training Challenge
By Delaney Whittet
LA JOLLA, Calif.- The University of California San Diego Athletics Department teamed up with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) to administer the Next Level Training Challenge to Triton student-athletes and local police officers over the past two weeks. Six student-athletes visited Liberty Station on April 10, and the SDPD came to Spanos Athletic Performance Center on April 17 in order to experience each other’s training regimen.
For the first day of the two-part challenge, the student-athletes were put through a SWAT scenario, driving scenario, and a physical training obstacle course at Liberty Station. The SWAT scenario consisted of breaching the door of room that had boards with printed pictures of suspects and hostages. Before entering each room, the police officer gave the athlete a different scenario and the athlete had to choose whether to open fire with a simulation rifle.
“Police officers put their lives on the line every day for people they don’t even know. Teaming up with SDPD shows how hard their job can be,” men’s soccer senior Kiefer Cooksey said. “Getting college student-athletes to participate in this really showed how hard the physical and mental tasks are.”
The student-athletes who attended the training represented the men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s water polo teams. According to freshman soccer player Sophia Bruno, the best part was the thrill of completing each respective drill.
“Finishing the obstacle course was different than winning a soccer game because in soccer, the effort is between the whole team,” Bruno said. “It was still satisfying because it was something that I had to accomplish on my own.”
The following week, when the SDPD visited UC San Diego, they took part in a typical student-athlete workout. From dragging weights at the Spanos Athletic Performance Center to running at the Triton Track & Field Stadium, Senior Associate AD of Athletic Performance Matt Kritz put the police officers and student-athletes through a rigorous workout.
UC San Diego’s collaboration with the SDPD comes at a milestone time for the athletic department, as it pushes to maximize its potential while moving into Division I. The opportunity to train alongside the best-in-class police department allowed the student-athletes to experience an inside look into the training required to join the SDPD, while sharing the training they go through to prepare for their competitions.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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