This weekend in the cross country schedule is a busy one as eight clubs are slated to hit the start gates. Two schools will host meets over the busy weekend as the countdown to the Big West Championships hits the six week mark.
Starting up in the Central Coast, UC Santa Barbara welcomes rival Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton for the UCSB Lagoon Open. What was traditionally a dual between the Gauchos and Mustangs is now a tri-meet with the Titans, setting up a showdown between the three teams that finished in the top three of both races at the 2017 Big West Championship. The trio will compete in a women’s 5K and a men’s 8K around the UCSB campus.
A competitive field of athletes will descend on the Inland Empire this weekend as UC Riverside hosts the 38th annual UC Riverside Invitational at the Ag/Ops Course.
The meet, which attracts some of the top clubs in the region and country, will have a Big West flair to it as the Highlanders welcome conference rivals CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Hawai’i among the competing clubs. The men will run an 8K while the women will compete in a 6K event. A year ago nearly 1,200 competitors from 72 universities, colleges and clubs competed in the event.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
• Cal State Fullerton returns to the spotlight this year as the Titans will host the Big West Championship. This marks the first time CSF has hosted the league meet since 1997 and for the fourth time overall. The conference showdowns will take place at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea on October 27 with the men’s 8K slated for 8:45am and the women’s 6K commencing at 9:30pm.
• The preseason regional rankings have two clubs appearing on the list, both on the men’s side. Defending champion Cal Poly checks in at 10th with rival UC Santa Barbara a few spots behind in 13th.