LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego cross country program has signed a total of five men and six women for the upcoming 2012 season, head coach Nate Garcia announced on Monday. The incoming group of recruits will join the Tritons as true freshman this fall.
Representing UCSD on the men's side will be Scott Acton (Lancaster, Calif./Desert Christian HS), Tareq Alwafai (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Aliso Niguel HS), Eddie Carrillo (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS), Grant Foster (Los Gatos, Calif./Los Gatos HS) and Charles Morgan (Irvine, Calif./University HS).
Chandler Colquitt (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS), Marie Diaz (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd HS), Carolina Guzman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga HS), Mei-Lin Okino (Belmont, Calif./Carlmont HS), Alexandra Reich (Mission Viejo, Calif./Trabuco Hills HS) and Amanda Weber (San Diego, Calif./Westview HS) will join the Triton women.
A standout for four years with a very successful cross country program at Desert Christian High School, Acton posted personal bests of 15:32 at Mt. SAC and 15:50 at the state championship meet as a prepster. A long distance specialist, he will be a great addition to the Triton cross country team in the fall and is expected to focus on the 5k and 10k with the track team in the spring.
Alwafai displayed great progression throughout his high school career at Aliso Niguel, finding success in both cross country and the 3200-meters as a senior this spring. He comes to La Jolla with personal bests of 15:34 at Mt. SAC, 4:23 in the 1600 and 9:27 in the 3200.
Carrillo really found his stride as a runner during his final season at Great Oak High School and is said to be primed to take the next step in his racing career when he joins the Tritons this fall. He owns PRs of 15:39 at Mt. SAC and 9:27 in the 3200.
An extremely talented runner, Foster battled through injuries during the latter stages of his senior campaign at Los Gatos High School, but has shown that he is capable of accomplishing great things at UCSD. His top times include 15:24 at Mt. SAC, 15:45 at the state meet, 4:19 in the 1600 and 9:12 in the 3200.
Lastly Morgan is a recruit that set his sights on UCSD early on and worked very hard to be a part of the incoming class. He ran very limited miles in high school, but the Triton coaching staff is excited about his potential as he transitions into collegiate competition. Morgan recorded personal bests of 15:44 at Mt. SAC, 4:22 in the 1600 and 9:26 in the 3200 during his career at University High School.
"We are bringing in a very strong group of men this fall, with four men under 9:30 in the 3200 and all five with Mt. SAC cross country times below 15:45," Garcia said. "This marks one of, if not the fastest groups of recruits that we have ever brought in, so we're looking forward to seeing what this group can do."
On the women's side, Colquitt was sidelined with an injury during track season of her senior year at Ayala High School, but showed during cross country season that she has the potential to make a big impact with the Tritons in the future. She comes to UCSD with a top time of 18:40 on the Mt. SAC course.
Diaz is another recruit who is expected to contribute in both the fall and spring seasons for the Tritons. A solid mid-distance runner, she also performed well over the longer cross country distances as a prepster. She really blossomed in the 1600 as a senior, recording a PR of 5:08 for Bishop O'Dowd.
Guzman comes to UCSD after establishing herself as a very tough racer throughout her career at Rancho Cucamonga High School. Her toughness and natural abilities as a runner will be a great addition for the Tritons going forward. She posted a top time of 11:18 in the 3200 last spring.
Okino focused her efforts on the longer distance races during her time at Carlmont High School so stepping up to the 6k for cross country should be a natural progression for her. She nailed down a personal best of 18:46 at Mt. SAC.
Reich displayed a great deal of promise at Trabuco Hills High School and is said to have a tenacious spirit when it comes to competition. The UCSD coaching staff is looking forward to seeing how a summer's worth of training pays off for her in August.
Finally, Weber expressed interest in UC San Diego early in her high school career and committed herself to reaching that goal. After posting impressive PRs of 2:18 in the 800 and 5:15 in the 1600 as a senior at Westview, she is poised to take the next step in her running career.
"We are really excited about this group of women that we are brining in this fall," Garcia continued. "We believe that this group will absolutely help our team take the next step forward this year."
UCSD will kick off the 2012 season with its annual home opener on Friday, August 31, before taking part in the UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday, September 8. For the Tritons' complete 2012 schedule, click here.