Cross Country Set for Conference Meet In Riverside
Links associated with this release:
2015 Big West Cross Country Championships Central
The Ag/Ops Course in Riverside will be the focus this weekend as the Big West Cross Country Championships take center stage.
UC Riverside will again be the host for the league meet, an event that will see the women run an a 6K and the men an 8K. UC Davis is the defending champion on the women’s side, while UC Santa Barbara looks to grab its second consecutive title on the men’s side.
In the women’s race, the Aggies won last year’s title on the strength of four top nine showings. The club will look for another strong showing this year led by the senior trio of Erika Barr, Christine Hoffman and Katie Fry. Barr has been impressive in her senior season, most recently finishing third at the NCAA Pre-Nationals thanks to a career-best 6K time of 20:51.9. Fry also put up a season-best time of 21:26.8 in the same race, while Hoffman was second in last year’s Big West race and ran 20:40.1 at the UCR Invitational earlier this season.
Cal Poly, a squad that is ranked eighth in the West Region will provide stiff competition. The Mustangs are led by junior Sydney Szabo, junior Ashley Windsor and an impressive freshman Peyton Bilo. Of the trio, Bilo has the Mustangs’ top 6K time this season with a 20:41.8 at the NCAA Pre-National Meet.
There will be plenty of talent on display in the women’s race as well, headlined by UC Riverside sophomore Faith Makau, CSUN’s Elizabeth Nelson and the UC Santa Barbara duo of senior Maxine Goyette and sophomore Jenna Hinkle.
The Gaucho men will be a tough outfit to crack as they return four of their scoring five from last year’ squad, including the 8K champion, senior Bryan Guijarro and runner-up, senior Anthony Ortolan. UCSB is coming in with a load of momentum thanks to its performance at the NCAA Pre-National Meet. The Gauchos were 10th in the loaded 42-team field, led by Guijarro’s 32nd place showing in the 8K in 23:46.4.
Cal Poly will be looking to reclaim its spot atop the Big West, a perch it has held 13 times during its tenure as a Big West member. The Mustangs’ contingent will be led by junior Swarnjit Boyal, who has finished as Cal Poly’s top runner all season. Included in his impressive season was an eighth place showing in the 8K at the Stanford Invitational (24:01.1).
Long Beach State may be the darkhorse of this year’s men’s race as the Beach has put up some impressive performances in 2015. The 49ers are coming off a team title at the Highlander Invitational led by junior Kevin Ramirez, giving them a preview of the championship course. The team was also impressive at the Roy Griak Invitational, led by junior Sam Bautista’s 8K time of 26:07.6.
The action kicks off Saturday morning at 8:30am with the women’s 6K, while the men’s 8K will begin at 9:15am. Live results can be accessed on finishedresults.com.