Cal Poly Men, UC Irvine Women Capture Big West Cross Country Titles
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The Cal Poly men's team won its third consecutive title while the UC Irvine women's team captured its first crown since 1999 as the 2005 Big West Cross Country Championships were staged at the UC Riverside Agricultural Operations course Saturday.
The Mustangs continued their dominance at the conference meet, earning their sixth title in the last eight years. Cal Poly tallied 24 points as five runners finished in the top 10, led by senior Andy Coughlin's second place showing. Coughlin ran the 8K course in a time of 24:02.3 and led a pack of three of his teammates who finished within one second and a half of his pace. Junior Matt Johnsrud was third in 24:02.8, senior Brandon Collins fourth in 24:03.1 and junior Brian Baker sixth in 24:03.8. Freshman Alex Dunn rounded out the group of Cal Poly scorers in ninth place at 24:17.7.
The individual champion was UC Santa Barbara junior Chris Ashley, who ran the course in 23:51.7, more than 17 seconds faster than last year's first place finisher. Ashley's time also is tops among all Big West runners at any meet this season. The Gauchos came in second place as a team with 38 points, thanks to three runners in the top 10. In addition to Ashley's performance, junior Mike Chavez was fifth (24:03.6) and senior Alex Cardiasmenos seventh (24:04.5).
Rounding out the list of top 10 finishers was Long Beach State senior Jim Grabow, who came in eighth place at 24:08.2. The 49ers posted their best finish in 17 years, coming in third place with 89 points.
After three consecutive eighth place finishes and a sixth place showing in 2001, the UC Riverside men's team also stepped up with its best-ever fourth place performance. The Highlanders tallied 129 points as all five scorers finished anywhere from 21st to 30th.
UC Irvine (140 points), Cal State Fullerton (181) and Cal State Northridge (182) rounded out the final scoring.
On the women's side, UC Irvine ended UC Santa Barbara's two-year reign as conference champ with a great performance from its mixture of veterans and youth. The Anteaters scored 29 points to outdistance the Gauchos, who finished with 66 points for second place. UCI senior Amber Steen won the individual championship as she traveled the 6K course in 20:55.5. Freshman teammate Laura Olvera followed closely in second place at 21:00.3. Steen's time registered as the fastest by a Big West runner this season, shattering the previous best by more than 50 seconds.
Two more Anteater runners finished in the top 10, as sophomore Marie Nguyen was sixth with a time of 21:26.1 and senior Kelli Vanderburg ninth at 21:34.2. Sophomore Candice Proctor just missed the top 10, coming in 11th at 21:47.5.
UC Santa Barbara's top finisher was sophomore Bethany Nickless, who came in fifth at 21:23.5. The Gauchos also had senior Seanna Martin finish seventh in 21:27.4.
Much like the Long Beach State men, the women's squad put forth a performance not seen by the program in a long time. Thanks to two top 10 individual times, the 49ers came in third place with 75 points. That marks the best finish for LBSU since coming in second in 1989. Junior Meredith Kramon was fourth overall with a time of 21:17.8 while fellow junior Nicole Blalock was eighth (21:30.4).
Cal State Northridge senior Liz Camy improved upon her 22nd place finish in 2004, vaulting all the way to third with a mark of 21:15.7. UC Riverside freshman Brenda Martinez set a school record with her time of 21:43.5, good for 10th place.
Cal State Fullerton came in fourth place in the team scoring with 110 points, followed by UC Riverside in fifth with 130. Cal Poly (135), Cal State Northridge (164) and Pacific (246) rounded out the scoring.
Big West teams now focus their attention to NCAA Regionals at Stanford in two weeks.
2005 BIG WEST WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
6K - UCR Agricultural Operations Course
October 29, 2005
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
1. Amber Steen, UC Irvine, 20:55.5
2. Laura Olvera, UC Irvine, 21:00.3
3. Liz Camy, Cal State Northridge, 21:15.7
4. Meredith Kramon, Long Beach State, 21:17.8
5. Bethany Nickless, UC Santa Barbara, 21:23.5
6. Marie Nguyen, UC Irvine, 21:26.1
7. Seanna Martin, UC Santa Barbara, 21:27.4
8. Nicole Blalock, Long Beach State, 21:30.4
9. Kelli Vanderburg, UC Irvine, 21:34.2
10. Brenda Martinez, UC Riverside, 21:43.5
1. UC Irvine, 29
2. UC Santa Barbara, 66
3. Long Beach State, 75
4. Cal State Fullerton, 110
5. UC Riverside, 130
6. Cal Poly, 135
7. Cal State Northridge, 164
8. Pacific, 246
2005 BIG WEST MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
8K - UCR Agricultural Operations Course
October 29, 2005
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
1. Chris Ashley, UC Santa Barbara, 23:51.7
2. Andy Coughlin, Cal Poly, 24:02.3
3. Matt Johnsrud, Cal Poly, 24:02.8
4. Brandon Collins, Cal Poly, 24:03.1
5. Mike Chavez, UC Santa Barbara, 24:03.6
6. Brian Baker, Cal Poly, 24:03.8
7. Alex Cardiasmenos, UC Santa Barbara, 24:04.5
8. Jim Grabow, Long Beach State, 24:08.2
9. Alex Dunn, Cal Poly, 24:17.7
10. Luke Llamas, Cal Poly, 24:22.0
1. Cal Poly, 24
2. UC Santa Barbara, 38
3. Long Beach State, 89
4. UC Riverside, 129
5. UC Irvine, 140
6. Cal State Fullerton, 181
7. Cal State Northridge, 182