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Cross Country

UCSB Men, UCD Women Take Home Cross Country Crowns


Big West Cross Country Championship Page

The 2014 Big West Cross Country Championships featured two new champions as the UC Santa Barbara men and UC Davis women claimed the crowns. The league championship meet returned to the Inland Empire as UC Riverside hosted the event at the Ag/Ops Course.

The Gaucho men won the title for the first time since 2001 and established a school-record point total with 21 for the league crown. The 21 points is also the lowest at the Big West men's championship since 2008 champion Cal Poly recorded 19 points. Second place went to defending champion Cal Poly with 49 points, while the homestanding Highlanders were third with 95. Fourth place belonged to Long Beach State with 114, with Cal State Fullerton right behind LBSU with 129 tallied. UC Davis was with with 144 points, while UC Irvine (197) and CSUN (218) wrapped up the men's team standings.

In the individual men's 8K race, UCSB place four runners in the top five and five athletes in the top 10. Bryan Guijaro won the title with a time of 23:47.4, just outlasting teammate Anthony Ortolan's time of 23:48.1. UCR's Seth Totten broke up the Gaucho finish with a third place showing in 24:03.7, while UCSB's Bryce Rausa (24:08.8) and Shyan Vaziri (24:12.7) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Cal Poly had the next three finishers in Clayton Hutchins (24:15.0), Luis Morales (24:19.5) and Dimitri Voytilla (24:23.8), while Anthony Monroy of UC Santa Barbara (24:26.7) and the Mustangs' Tyler Huntley (24:28.8) wrapped up the top 10.

Women's 6K champion UC Davis finished with 36 points for the league title, the lowest score the Aggies have put up at the conference meet. Second place was defending champion Cal Poly with 66 points, while UC Santa Barbara came in third with 86. UC Riverside (95) and Cal State Fullerton (149) finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively, with Cal State Northridge right behind that duo with 150 points. Long Beach State recorded a seventh place finish with 177 tallies, while UC Irvine (194) and Hawai'i (258) completed the women's scoreboard.

The women's top 10 had representatives from five different clubs led by UCR's Raquel Hefflin who blazed to the finish on her home course in 20:12.6. UC Davis' Christine Hoffman was next in 20:22.7, while Elizabeth Nelson tied the best finish by a CSUN runner at the Big West Championship with a third place slot in 20:27.2. UC Santa Barbara's Daniella Moreno was next in 20:45.7, while the Highlanders had their second top five finisher in Faith Makau next in 20:48.8. The Aggies picked up sixth and seventh place points in Hannah Kirkegaard (20:49.7) and Rocki Lambdin (20:49.8), while Cal Poly's Ashley Windsor came in eighth at 20:53.1. UCD's Clara Macleod (20:57.5) and Sydney Szabo of Cal Poly (21:01.3) completed the top 10 on the women's side.

UC Riverside senior Raquel Hefflin
(Today’s race, strategy)
"I wanted to run my race. I didn’t want to go off of anybody, I wanted to run my race. The ladies behind me, I didn’t know how they were going to race, I just knew that they’re good competitors. I knew that they were going to push me. Knowing that they were great competitors is why I ran my race because I don’t know where they can break out and lead or pull back."

(Moving forward to prepare for Regionals)
“Regionals, same thing and nationals the same thing I’ve been doing this whole entire season. Day by day, trusting in my training, trusting in my coach. This whole season has given me confidence so I just want to rely on what I’ve been doing and do the same thing.”

UC Santa Barbara junior Bryan Guijaro
(On crossing the finish line)
“It was a relief…I was struggling a little bit at the end. Seeing my teammate there pumped me up even more.”
(On UCSB's championship)
“It feels amazing, this is my first time winning as a team. It’s still soaking in.”
(On what head coach Pete Dolan told him prior to the race)
“He just told us to go out there and do it.”
(On the difference this year)
“I put so much work in over the summer this time. I did a lot of cross training and put in more milage. I think, also struggling last year for me helped me improve this year.”

UC Santa Barbara head coach Pete Dolan
(On team clinching championship)
“It’s really exciting when you have a team that comes together on the day and focuses on one goal, and they did it.”
(On what made this team different)
“It’s that mental toughness. Everybody tries to quantify it. Until you can do it on race day and at a race like this, we didn’t know until today and they showed up and got it done.”
(On seeing his team cross the finish)
“To see these guys, it’s watching them turn into the runners they wanted to be. They thought about it, they practiced years on end. Take Bryce Rausa for instance, fifth-year senior. He comes up to me at the end and goes, ‘Coach, first time I went start to finish and I was mentally in it the whole way.’ And sometimes it takes five years, but it’s really exciting to see a guy do that.”
(On training for Regionals and Nationals)
“Rest, work out, maintain. Don’t enjoy the moment too much, we’re going to enjoy today and then we’ll get back to work Monday.”

UC Davis head coach Devin Elizondo
(On how Davis clinched with a new coach at the helm)
“Believing in ourselves. The women did a great job in the transition of trusting the program, trusting the administration that we were going to do right by them.”
(On what he told the team pre-race)
“Realizing who we had in the room and bring reflections of that…Reminding them who they are and believing in them and putting them in good positions to succeed.”
(On what made the difference)
We learned a lot of lessons this year. We had some success and it reassured us that we’re on the right path. We looked at some of those championship teams and how they do things and tried to apply those lessons here – getting out strong, holding positions and closing out late.
(On how proud he is of his team)
“Getting a new coach is tough, they did a great job over the summer trusting the process. What was in their control was their training. If they trained hard they would be successful no matter who was in the seat. Just really growing together and knowing, we’re in this boat together.