Cal Poly, Hawai'i Compete In Light Cross Country Week
Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 2
A light schedule is on tap for week 2 of the cross country season as Cal Poly and Hawai’i hit the road for competition.
The Mustangs, fresh off a sweep at the UCSB Lagoon Open, travel to Fresno for the Fresno Cross Country Invitational. The women’s race will be a 5K event, while the men’s competition will be a four mile run.
Meanwhile the ‘Bows will make the “journey” from O’ahu to the Big Island for the UH Hilo Invitational at the Naniloa Golf Course in Hilo. UH is looking for its second straight strong performance as the squad finished second in its season-opening Big Wave Invitational.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
• Defending champion Cal Poly opened up its title defense strong a week ago, sweeping the UCSB Lagoon Open. Senior Swarnjit Boyal won the individual title on the men’s side in an impressive 25:06.00, leading a sweep of the first three finishes in the 8K.
• UC Santa Barbara senior Jenna Hinkle opened up her final season with win at the UCSB Lagoon Open, winning the 5K in 17:41.74. Her time was a little over 17 seconds better than runner-up Miranda Daschian of Cal Poly.
• Cal State Fullerton also swept its season-opening Mark Covert Classic, held at Carbon Canyon Regional Park. The Titans were led on the men’s side by junior Sam Pimentel who finished the 8K course in third at 25:26.5. Right behind him was sophomore Jorge Sanchez in 25:29.7, leading CSF to a team-title winning 49 points.
The women’s team won the team title with 34 points as five runners finished in the top 15. Freshman Wendi Leos led the pack with a second place finish in the 5K, crossing the line in 18:09.3.
• Mikayla Florez picked up a bit of history for Long Beach State as the junior captured first place in the 4K at the Pepperdine Invitational in 14:41.96. She is the first LBSU women’s runner to win a meet since Rosa Del Toro claimed the Aztec Invitational title in 2010.
• The preseason regional rankings have three Big West clubs on the men’s and women’s side, both of which feature the same clubs. In the men’s rankings, defending champion Cal Poly checks in at #8, UC Santa Barbara is ranked #14 and Cal State Fullerton is #15. The women’s rankings are led by the 2016 champion Mustangs at #11, UCSB is #14 and the Titans are coming in at #15.
• A familiar course hosts the 2017 Cross Country Championship as the Ag/Ops Course on the campus of UC Riverside will be the site of the league meet. The Championship returns to Ag/Ops after a one-year hiatus and for the sixth time in the last eight seasons.
Cal Poly will look to defend its dual Championship victories, the third time since 2012 that the Mustangs have swept the titles at the league meet. Cal Poly’s men’s team hasn’t hoisted the trophy at the Ag/Ops Course since 2012, while the women’s team won the last race at UCR in 2015. UC Santa Barbara’s men’s squad has enjoyed its recent runs at the Ag/Ops Course, winning the titles in 2014 and ‘15 and finishing in second in 2012.