Big West Battles Top-Ranked Competition This Weekend
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This Week in the Big West - September 19-25, 2011
All Eyes On Bay Area
This Saturday a quartet of Big West schools head to the Bay Area to compete in the 38th Stanford Cross Country Invitational at the Stanford Golf Course. The mens 8K begins at 10:50 a.m. and is followed by the womens 6K at 11:30 a.m. The Big West members that are slated to compete against some of the top teams in the nation, including host Stanford (men - 3rd; women - 6th), are Cal Poly, UC Davis, UC Irvine and Pacific.
Last year Stanford took advantage of running on its home turf and swept the men's and women's event. On the men's side, the highest conference team finish was UC Davis (7th), followed by Cal Poly (t-8th), UC Santa Barbara (t-8th) and Long Beach State (10th). Individually, Jon Peterson of UC Davis was the top men's finisher with a time of 24:00. The UCSB duo of Jeremy Acosta (24:27) and Juan Paredes (24:27) also recorded top 30 results with 26th and 27th place showings, respectively.
On the women's side, Long Beach State, led by Rosa Del Toros 22nd place finish, wrapped up the day in an impressive third place, just ahead of fourth place Cal Poly. UC Davis also ran well as a team with a seventh place showing among the 24 teams.
Headed To The Midwest
The Cal Poly Mustangs are showcasing a split squad with participants competing in both the Stanford Invitational and the Roy Griak Invitational. The Mustangs will be joined by Long Beach State at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the nationally-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. This years event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn.
The Griak Invitational Men's Gold Race features 26 teams, including Arizona, Arizona State, California, Duke, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, Navy, No. 11 N.C. State, Penn State and Washington. The mens 8K is slated with a 10:20 a.m. (PT) start time.
For the women's event, nearly 400 runners will line up this year. A few of the top 30 teams in the nation will be competing in this year's race, including No. 8 Iowa State, No. 10 Arizona and No. 11 Washington. Other teams featured in this year's meet are California, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, No. 21 N.C. State, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin. Race time for the 6K is set for 11:10 a.m. (PT).
Last Week At UC Riverside Invitational
UC Riverside hosted its annual cross country meet - The UC Riverside Invitational - last weekend at the UCR Ag/Ops Course, the home of the 2011 Big West Cross Country Championship. Many athletes posted their top times of this young season including UC Riverside's Chad Hall, who was the highest Big West finisher after posting a fifth place time of 24:01.8. Teammate Katy Daly mirrored Halls performance on the womens side, registering the top conference time with a mark of 20:56.5 in the 6K event.
UC Riverside wasn't the only team that excelled in its test-run of the upcoming conference championship. The UC Santa Barbara women finished second out of 20 with its top five runners all recording times under 21:15. UC Riverside finished fourth on its home course and Cal State Fullerton also pulled in a top 10 finish.
On the men's side, the Highlanders earned second place, while Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara both slipped into the top 10. The Titans finished seventh and UC Santa Barbara grabbed ninth place in the 25-team field.
UC Riverside Sweeps Cross Country Accolades
UC Riverside came away with the weekly cross country awards as Chad Hall and Katy Daly claimed Big West Men's and Women's Athlete of the Week honors, respectively.
Hall, a senior from Big Bear, Calif., finished fifth out of 242 runners in the 8K at the UC Riverside Invitational on Saturday, running in 24:01.8. He was the top finisher from any Big West program and helped the Highlanders place second out of 25 teams.
Daly, a junior from San Francisco, Calif., finished seventh out of 167 runners in the 6K at the UC Riverside Invitational on Saturday, crossing the finish line in 20:56.5. She was the top finisher among Big West schools and led the Highlanders to a fourth place finish in the field of 20.