Light Weekend Ahead for Cross Country As Championships Loom
Cross Country Release No. 7
UC Irvine and Hawai’i will be the lone teams in action this weekend, as the Big West Championships are only three weeks away.
The Anteaters won’t have to go far for their competition as the squad heads to neighboring Costa Mesa for the Vanguard Invitational. Meanwhile, the Wahine will stay on the islands for a “road trip” to Hilo for the UH Hilo Invitational.
• Last weekend’s NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree in Sacramento saw Big West competitors put forth impressive efforts.
On the men’s side, Cal Poly’s Sean Davidson was the highest individual finisher for the league with a second place showing in 23:30 over the 8K course. Davidson led three Mustangs in the top 3 and spearheaded the clubs’ second place showing. Not to be outdone was UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis who finished third and fourth overall, respectively. The Gauchos were led by Anthony Ortolan who finished in fifth with a time of 23:44, while the Aggies were led by Brandon Pugh’s seventh place showing in 23:48. Long Beach State’s Chris Enriquez also deserves praise for his 8th place finish at the meet. Enriquez ran a 23:50 to give the Big West five of the top 10 finishers.
The women were led by Sarah Sumpter of UC Davis who was second overall with a time of 16:36 over the 5K run. The Aggie women finished third overall, one place behind the Cal Poly squad led by freshmen Mary Jo Wright (9th - 17:08) and Ashley Windsor (14th - 17:13). UCSB’s Daniella Moreno was another top finisher as she was sixth overall (16:56), while Long Beach State notched a top 10 finisher in Hillary Zator (10th - 17:10)
• A look at the regional rankings shows the league showing up among the best in the area. On the men’s side, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis rank 8-9-10, while the Mustangs and Aggies are ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in the women’s regional poll.
• UC Irvine head coach Vince O’Boyle, the second-longest tenured head coach in UC Irvine Athletics history, has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31. O’Boyle is in his 32nd season as head coach of the Anteater men’s and women’s cross country programs, and 30th as director of the UCI men’s and women’s track & field programs after serving two seasons as an assistant track coach. During his UCI career, O’Boyle has been named Big West Conference Coach of the Year 20 times in cross country and track & field.
• After five consecutive seasons, Big West Cross Country Championships will move from Riverside to San Luis Obispo. Fairbanks Cross Country Course will host the championship meet, the same site that hosted the event back in 2007. During that championship, the Cal Poly men won their fifth straight title thanks to a clean sweep of the first five positions. UC Santa Barbara took the women’s title, its fourth in five seasons.