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Cross Country

Home Meets, Pre-Nationals Highlight Important Cross Country Weekend

10/17/2013

Cross Country Release No. 8

The final key meet weekend of the 2013 season is upon us as all nine Big west cross country squads are in competition from the islands of Hawai’i to the trails of Indiana.

Starting out in Hawai’i, the Wahine will have a squad in La’ie, Oahu at the BYU-Hawai’i Invitational. UH will also send a team of runners to the mainland to compete in the Bronco Invitational. They will be joined in Santa Clara by their conference foes Long Beach State and UC Davis.

Two squads will host meets at their home courses this weekend. Cal Poly welcomes competitors to the Fairbanks Cross Country Course for the Cal Poly Invitational, while UC Riverside will have a packed weekend at the Ag/Ops Course for the Highlander Invitational.

A host of clubs will also head to one of the larger meets in the country out in Terre Haute, Ind. Cal Poly, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara will compete in the first step towards the national championships, the Pre-Nationals.

The 2013 edition of the Pre-Nationals consists of nearly 180 men’s and women’s teams, that span from California to New Jersey. These runners will all meet at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course for one of the biggest collegiate athletic events in America. The course will be the site for the national championship races in mid-November and has hosted the penultimate NCAA meet in 10 of the last 12 years.

• 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. The next polls could see some movement as all nine Big West teams compete in the final big race weekend before the conference championships.

• 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. For more information on the Big West Cross Country Championships, click here.