37th Annual UC Riverside Invitational Highlights Cross Country Slate
Big West Cross Country Weekly Release No. 3
The 37th annual UC Riverside Invitational is in the spotlight this week as several clubs head to the Inland Empire for the competition.
The meet is being held at the Ag/Ops Course on the campus of UC Riverside, the site of the 2017 Big West Cross Country Championships. Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara are among the teams slated to participate in a women’s 6K and men’s 8K. The festivities are slated to begin at 730 a.m. with the women’s race, while the men’s race will kick off at 9:10 a.m.
Hawai’i will pack its bags for the mainland this weekend as the club is taking part in the 26th annual Sundodger Invitational hosted by Washington. The ‘Bows were originally slated to take part in the Chaminade Invitational as well but will instead run a full squad in Seattle. UH will compete in its first 6K run of the season as it looks to build on its third-place finish at the Sundodger a year ago.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
• Cal Poly put in another strong effort as the women tied for the top spot and the men took home the crown at the Fresno Cross Country Invitational.
The women’s squad was led by sophomore Bryanna Fuller who was fourth in the 5K in 18:13.5. The team tied San Jose State for the top score with 39 but were edged by the Spartans in the total time tiebreaker, 1:31:31 to 1:32:06.
The Mustang men left no doubt as they put up 16 points for the title, easily outscoring Fresno State who was second with 65. Cal Poly was led by junior Peter Cotsirilos who put up a time of 20:38.5 over the four-mile race, narrowly outpacing his classmate Sean McDermott (20:40.8) for the top spot.
• Hawai’i made its trip to the Big Island memorable as the team came away with the crown at the UH Hilo Invitational last weekend. Freshman Sienna Santiago led the charge as she completed the 5K in 19:54.1, good for second plabce and 18 seconds better than her 5K time at the season-opening Big Wave Invitational.
• The 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.