Final Regular Season Weekend Headlined By Titan Invitational
Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 8
With one week to go before the Big West Championships, only two teams will be in action as final preparations take place for the league meet.
Cal State Fullerton will host the Titan Invitational this weekend, the only race on the docket. Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara will send contingents to the Titan campus for the event, a course that loops around the grass fields, and continues toward the concrete and asphalt pathways around the Sports Complex.
• The UC Santa Barbara men put up an eye-opening performance at the NCAA Pre-National race last weekend, finishing 10th in the 42-team main section. The Gauchos were led by reigning Big West champion Bryan Guijarro who finished 32nd with a time of 23:46.4. That marked the fourth time in his career he ran a sub-24:00 8K and was just seven seconds off his career-best showing.
• The UC Riverside women’s cross country club successfully defended its Highlander Invitational title last week, finishing with 70 points after the 5K competition. Sophomore Faith Makau finished just ahead of teammate Weslie Totten with a time of 17:17.63. Totten, also a sophomore, finished just .09 seconds behind Makau.
• UC Davis’ women’s contingent showed it is prepared to defend the Big West title after a fourth place finish at the NCAA Pre-National “Black” race. Senior Erika Barr led the way for the Aggies, finishing the 6K in third with a time of 20:51.9. UCD finished only behind Washington State, Buffalo and Arizona in the race.
• The Long Beach State men put up an impressive performance at the Highlander Invitational last weekend, coming away with the team title in the men’s 6K. The 49ers were led by junior Kevin Ramirez who finished third with a time of 17:51.32. The title marked the first for LBSU under second-year head coach Tom Walsh.
• 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 eighth place ranking, while Cal Poly comes in at No. 11 and Long Beach State at No. 13. The women’s regional rankings has Cal Poly as the highest ranked Big West team at eighth, with UC Davis at 15th.
• 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.