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Cross Country

Hawai'i Takes Solo Spotlight In Cross Country Slate


Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 6

Only one Big West cross country club is in action this week as teams prepare for major meets around the country next weekend.

Hawai’i returns to action on the islands for the Chaminade Invitational in O’ahu. The ‘Bows will participate in the 5K race at Kapioani Park.

• Hawai’i had an excellent showing at the Capital Cross Challenge last week, finishing sixth in the 10 team field. Junior Ali Cross had a career-best showing in the 5K, finishing the course in 17:44.7. Cross’ showing was good for 18th in the field and was the fastest 5K showing by a UH athlete since Ashley Aitken in 2010.

• UC Santa Barbara’s men’s team traveled to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Invitational, an event run as a team race only with no individual runners accepted.

The Gauchos finished 17th in the loaded field, finishing ahead of nationally-ranked Arizona State. UCSB was led by senior Shyan Vaziri who completed the five-mile course in 24:46.0, good for 58th in the field of 167 competitors.

• Cal State Fullerton also headed to America’s heartland last week as the Titans competed in the Rim Rock Classic in Lawrence, Kan.

The CSF men picked up a sixth place finish in the 8K, led by junior Jose Penaloza’s 35th place showing in 25:12.6. The Titan women finished the 6K in seventh place led by senior Emily Taylor. She finished in 20th place after running the course in 22:12.9.

• Several Big West clubs are listed among the top teams in the region. On the men’s side, Cal Poly leads the way with an 10th place ranking, while Long Beach State comes in at No. 12 and UC Santa Barbara at No. 13. The women’s regional rankings has Cal Poly as the highest ranked Big West team at ninth, with UC Davis at 13th.

• After thirty-plus years as a coach, including the last dozen with the Highlanders, UC Riverside Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Irv Ray, announced that he is retiring from intercollegiate coaching. Associate Head Coach Nate Browne, who has been with the program since 2003, will take over the program on an interim basis.

Ray was instrumental in UCR’s ascension to the top of the Big West as the year prior to Ray’s arrival on the Riverside campus, the women’s cross country team finished ninth in the conference and the men’s team finished eighth. Five years later, the women’s team hoisted the 2008 Big West Conference Championship trophy, and the men came within two points of a second place finish. That 2008 women’s title was capped by Ray being named the Big West Coach of the Year.