Holiday Weekend Brings Busy Slate For Cross Country
Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 2 Hawai’i will be the final host of the weekend, welcoming all comers for the Big Wave Invitational. This weekend’s race holds extra significance as the season will end on the same course as UH hosts the 2016 Big West Cross Country Championships at Kahuku Golf Course on the North Shore of O’ahu. The league championship will be return to the Aloha State for the first time since 1992, while UH hosts its first conference meet since the WAC Championship of 2011.
The starters gun will be raised around the Big West this weekend, the first time this season that every cross country club in the league will be in action. All the conference teams will be looking to #StartBig as they eye the finish line in Kahuku, Hawai’i on October 29.
Two teams will get a jump on the weekend as Long Beach State and UC Irvine take the trip to the shores of Malibu for the Pepperdine Invitational Thursday at Alumni Park. The women’s event will be a 4K, while the men will contest a 5K course. LBSU’s races will be the first under new cross country head coach Shawn Winget.
Friday has one club on the docket as UC Riverside travels to Sparks, Nev., for the Nature’s Bakery Nevada Twilight Classic. The event, which is in its 10th year, is held in the evening at Shadow Mountain Park and will feature a women’s 4K and men’s 5K for the collegiate races.
Saturday is the busiest day of the weekend as the remaining six clubs are in action, with four of them hosting meets.
Starting in Orange County, Cal State Fullerton hosts the 31st annual Mark Covert Classic at Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea. The Titans expect a large and competitive field for the 5K women’s race and 8K men’s competition as they look to improve upon last year’s second place men’s finish and fourth place women’s finish.
Working our way north we come to Santa Barbara which hosts the annual season-opening UCSB Lagoon Open, a dual meet against rival Cal Poly. The meet will feature the 2016 champions as the UCSB men and Mustang women take the first step toward defending their crowns. The course will wind its way through the UCSB campus and feature a women’s 5K and men’s 8K.
The final stop on the California host train will be UC Davis as the club welcomes competitors for the Aggie Open. Recently the meet has become a dual against causeway rival Sacramento State with UCD coming out on top every year since 2008 except for a second place men’s finish in 2012. The women will compete in a 4K, while the men will embark on a 6K.
CSUN will be in action this weekend as well as the Matadors head to the Bay Area for the San Francisco Invitational. CSUN also ran in the event last year, finishing fifth on the women’s side and sixth in the men’s race. This year’s edition will once again face a women’s 5K and men’s 8K.
The Rainbow Wahine already have a leg up on the competition as they competed in the BYU-Invitational last weekend, becoming the first Big West club to compete in the 2016 campaign.
The ‘Bows had an impressive showing at the meet, winning the event with 21 points thanks to four top five finishes. Sophomore Camille Campos finished first overall in the 5K with a time of 18:00.0, 67 seconds ahead of her teammate senior Alli Cross who was second in 19:07. Freshman Maddie Fuhrman (4th - 19:27.0) and sophomore Tristan Setzer (5th - 19:39.0) wrapped up the impressive showing for UH.