Light Week On Tap For Cross Country
Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 3
A light weekend is in store for Big West cross country as only three clubs are slated for action this weekend.
Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine will both head north to compete in the Mustang Invitational hosted by The Master’s College. Hawai’i is also in action this week at the Sundodger Invitational, the first time UH will head to the mainland this season. The meet, held in Seattle and hosted by Washington, will feature a field that includes Fresno State, Nevada, Oregon State, Portland State, Seattle, Tulane, Washington State and the host Huskies.
• Last weekend’s UC Riverside Invitational saw plenty of quality competition, including some top performances by Big West clubs and athletes.
On the women’s side, UC Davis was the highest finishing Big West club as it finished second in the 15-team field. The defending Big West champions were led by Christine Hoffman who ran the 6K in 20:40.1. Her teammate Erika Barr gave the Aggies two top 10 finishers with a ninth place showing in 20:57.7. UCD was one of three clubs to finish in the top five as UC Santa Barbara and the host Highlanders finished third and fourth, respectively. The Gauchos’ top finisher was Maxine Goyette (22nd - 21:38.8), while UCR was led by Weslie Totten (13th - 21:20.6).
The men’s 8K race saw UC Santa Barbara also finish second to lead Big West competition. The Gauchos were a picture of consistency as their five scoring runners finished 11th, 12th, 13th, 16th and 20th. Anthony Ortolan led the contingent with a time of 24:39.6. UC Davis and Long Beach State also recorded top 5 finishes as the Aggies finished fourth led by Trevor Halstead (11th - 24:38.6), while the 49ers were fifth led by Kevin Ramirez (15th - 24:42.9).
• Cal Poly swept the Fresno State Invitational last weekend as the men put up 33 points and the women 37 points for their wins. The men were led by Swarnjit Boyal who won the individual crown in the 6K race in 18:08.9. The Mustangs’ women contingent was paced by Ashley Windsor who finished third in the 4.2K race in 14:16.6.
• Several Big West clubs are listed among the top teams in the region. On the men’s side, UC Santa Barbara leads the way with an ninth place ranking, while Cal Poly comes in at No. 11 and UC Davis at No. 15. The women’s regional rankings has UC Davis as the highest ranked Big West team at eighth, with Cal Poly at 11th.
• 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.