Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Junior Aren Johnson finished first overall at the USD Invite on Saturday.
Aren Johnson Wins, UCSD Earns Second-Place Finishes at USD Invite
Release: Saturday 09/16/2017 

SAN DIEGO — San Diego native Aren Johnson paced all runners with a first-place finish as the University of California San Diego men’s and women’s cross country teams each earned second-place team finishes Saturday at the University of San Diego Invitational at Tecolote Shores North Park.

Johnson, a junior, crossed the finish line in 25-minutes, 20-seconds, a full 16 seconds ahead of a quartet of runners from No. 2-ranked Stanford, which tied for second place individually with a time of 25:36.

“Aren ran a perfect race, relaxing when he could and being aggressive at the right time,” said UCSD head coach Nate Garcia. “It’s great for him to get that win.”

The UC San Diego men earned 39 points to finish second behind Stanford (20 points), but ahead of USD (66), Southwestern College (120) and San Diego Christian (126). Meanwhile, the Triton women garnered 47 points to finish behind No. 5 Stanford (29), but held off USD (48) for second.

“We are really pleased with the way the teams executed the race plan today,” said Garcia. “Both groups ran with confidence and put together the skills we have been working on.”

Also on the men’s side for the Tritons, junior Garrett Boulais took seventh overall in 25:44 and senior Garrett Lepine finished eighth with at time of 25:47.

For the UC San Diego women, senior Ella Verhees came in fifth with a time of 22:25. Freshman Laura Moran placed eighth in 22:39 and senior Merin Arft finished ninth at 22:41.

“The women were focused on improving their pack time and they did an awesome job together,” said Garcia. “It was a tremendous battle with USD for second place.”

The Tritons return to action next Saturday, Sept. 23, when the team splits up to compete in two separate meets. One group will head to the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn., while the other half will compete in the Coyote Challenge in San Bernardino.


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