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Cross Country

Big West Cross Country Hits The Trails This Weekend



This Week in the Big West - August 25-31, 2014

The race to the Big West Cross Country Championships begins this weekend as eight of the nine conference teams hit the trails in the first competition weekend of the 2014 campaign.

The action begins on Friday night as the UC Riverside squads head to Sparks, Nev., for the Nevada Twilight Classic. The women’s club will start with a 4K race, with the men competing in a four-mile competition. UCR will compete against a stellar field which includes the homestanding Wolfpack and the nationally and regionally ranked UCLA squads.

Saturday’s schedule features the other seven Big West clubs scheduled for action. Three clubs will host meets as Cal State Fullerton welcomes teams to Brea, Calif., for the Mark Covert Classic and UC Davis takes on all comers at the Aggie Open. UC Santa Barbara is the final homestand program as the Gauchos welcome rival Cal Poly and others for the UCSB Lagoon Open.

Hitting the road for the first meet of the season includes CSUN which heads to the Bay Area for the San Francisco Invitational and Hawai’i which will compete in the UH-Hilo Invitational. Long Beach State will also hit the road but has a short drive to compete in the Mark Covert Classic.

The Big West Championships return to the Inland Empire this season as UC Riverside will host the event at the Ag/Ops Course. This will be the sixth time in the last eight seasons that UCR has hosted the league meet. Last season in San Luis Obispo, homestanding Cal Poly swept the men’s and women’s championship. The Mustangs also swept the teams titles in 2012, the last time UC Riverside hosted the meet.

• Cal Poly’s Laura Hollander returns for her junior season looking to win her third straight Big West individual crown. Hollander, who holds the conference record for the 5K, shook off injuries last season to win the 6K league championship race, the first race she had entered all season.

• Long Beach State’s Chris Enriquez is a runner to watch after a spectacular 2013 campaign. Enriquez was fifth at the Big West Championships and earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships after a 10th place finish at the NCAA West Regional. He was the first 49er to qualify for the NCAA Championship in over 25 years.