Light Weekend Ahead For Cross Country
Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 7
The schedule is light this weekend as one team is slated to be in action. With another major meet weekend coming up, the league’s squads are entering final preparations for the league championship meet in Hawai’i on October 29.
Hawai’i will compete in a “road” meet on the islands as it will take part in the Chaminade Silverswords Invitational. Racing on a new 5K course on Sand Island in O’ahu will be a three-woman contingent representing the ‘Bows. This will be the final regular season meet on the islands for UH as the next time it will compete in the Aloha State will be the Big West Championship.
• Cal Poly had a day to remember at the Stanford Invitational as the men won the team title while the women finished second. The Mustang men were led by senior Swarnjit Boyal (23:22.80) and junior Clayton Hutchins (23:30.90) as they finished third and fourth in the 8K field of 177, respectively.
The women’s team was led again by sophomore Peyton Bilo, who finished second in the 6K race in 20:08.80. That time was just 6.3 seconds behind the individual champion Elise Cranny of the host Cardinal. The Mustangs also had two other top 10 finishers in junior Molly Haar (8th - 20:45.50) and senior Ashley Windsor (10th - 21:00.50).
• The Sacramento Captial Cross Challenge had some outstanding performances by Big West competitors.
In the women’s 6K, the highest finisher among Big West athletes was sophomore Camille Campos of Hawai’i with a second place showing in 20:44.4. Campos’ time was nearly 24 seconds better than her previous 6K best and was the fastest for the program since 2000.
Right behind Campos was UC Riverside junior Weslie Totten with a time of 20:50.2. Her teammate Faith Makau (21:08.4) crossed the finish line in 10th, giving UCR two top-10 finishers. The only other DI team to boast that accomplishment was race champion Arizona State.
Cal State Fullerton had a solid showing from both its men and women as the Titan squads registered the top team finishes among Big West clubs.
The women’s squad placed fourth in the talented field, led by senior Sierra Ungerman’s time of 21:03.8. Her time was good for seventh and made her one of just five runners from the Big West to finish in the top 10. Ungerman has now finished in the top 10 in each race she has entered this season.
The CSF men also collected a fourth place finish to match the women’s team. Leading the way for the Titans was freshman Freek Van de Weerd (30th - 24:41.6) and senior Jose Penaloza (31st - 24:42.3). Van de Weerd ran time best 8K time of his young collegiate career, besting his previous best by nearly two minutes.
UC Davis sophomore Jordy Ceja finished the 8K in 24:10.3. That time was 12th in the field, third among all DI competitors and 45 seconds better than his previous 8K best set two weeks ago at the Bill Dellinger Invitational.
• The season will end in the islands as Hawai’i 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 UC Santa Barbara men and Cal Poly women will be looking to defend their titles. The Gauchos are seeking their third consecutive crown, while the Mustangs are in search of a second straight title and fourth in the past five seasons. The men will have the first run through the Kahuku course as they run the 8K at 7:00 local time, while the women’s 6K championship race will be run 45 minutes later.
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