Editor's Note: UC San Diego released the following announcement Oct. 6, 2012.
Marking the midway point of the season, the UC San Diego cross country teams on Saturday morning hosted their 20th Annual Triton Classic Cross Country Invitational in which the men won their race for the second straight season and the women earned a hard-fought third-place finish.
"I think both teams handled it well," said Tritons head coach Nate Garcia. "The guys went right to the front of the pack, controlled the race from the beginning, and in a field this size, it's a real good indicator of where their confidence and their ability levels are."
Sophomore Tanner Collins not only won the men's 8k race, he dominated it. Collins led the pack at every mile marker in the event and crossed the finish line in 26:15 as the undisputed champion.
"I put in the work here this year, and I've been making steps to become better," Collins said. "I guess we're just going to, as a team, keep up the good work, try to maintain our home-course advantage and finish strong."
Collin's finish only foreshadowed the performance of the men's scorers, who all placed in the top 10 in a field of more than 190 runners. Putting things into perspective, last year's men's race had only 66 runners. Junior Kellen Levy, freshman Tareq Alwafai, freshman Scott Acton and senior Matt Lenehan finished fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth overall, respectively.
The men turned in a combined score of 25 points (1-4-5-6-9) in their event while Orange Coast College settled for second (92), D-I Loyola Marymount took third (95) and Cal Baptist followed in fourth (111).
Due to a computing error, the final times of the men's race were misplaced and were unrecoverable. Thus, only the final placings will be posted once they are received.
The Triton women, who took home the team title at last year's Triton Classic, finished third overall in their 6k race and first among schools in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
For the 10th consecutive meet, junior Chia Chang led UCSD and was the only Triton in her race to crack the top 10. Chang finished seventh overall, with a finishing time of 22:38.8. Chang was followed by freshman Marie Diaz in 13th, who finished in 22:59.3.
The women, who competed in a field of nearly 300 runners, earned a team score of 84 (6-10-14-17-37), just one point behind second-place San Diego State (1-4-15-22-41) with 83. The Lions of LMU, which rested their top six runners for this meet, claimed the women's team title with their 58-point team score (2-8-9-12-27).
"There's still some pieces we need to put together on the women's side," Garcia said. "Before two weeks from now, we saw some really good individual efforts and as we put those pieces together as a whole team, I think we're going to be ready to roll."
Senior Marianne Hogan of SDSU placed first in the women's race. Hogan won the race in 22:06.1, which was 8.5 seconds ahead of second-place finisher, senior Lisa Ohberg of Cal State L.A. (22:14.6).
The Tritons will wait another two weeks before they host and compete in their next meet, the 2012 CCAA Championships, which will be held 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.