The UCSB men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Highlander Invitational hosted by UC Riverside. This course will be the same as The Big West Championships, which gave this team a great opportunity to hop on the course before the postseason begins.
The men raced first in Riverside, taking on teams like Colorado, Arizona, UCLA and San Diego. The Gauchos had perfect racing conditions with no wind and cool weather to help them perform at their best as UCSB finished the race in eighth out of 25 teams.
Gus Marshall had the best finish of the day for the Gauchos as he came across the finish line 23rd out of 276 runners. The sophomore finished his race with a time of 24:23.0, which is a new best for him in his college career. Three other Gauchos ended their race together, securing the 58th, 59th and 60th spots in this race. Freshman Nate Osborn came across first with a time of 24:58.2 with senior Brandon Cobain following behind him at 24:59.2. Sophomore Tomas Mountcastle was also in that group, running in at 24:59.5, just .3 seconds behind his teammate.
Rounding out the top five for the Gauchos was junior Ryan Koepnick, who ended his race in Riverside with a time of 25:08.4. Two other runners finished the race for UCSB, and they were sophomore Travis Bryson and junior Aamir Rehman. The sophomore finished the race with a 25:55.1 while the junior ended his race with a 26:06.3.
On the women’s side, they had five runners compete for them in today’s race, which helped these ladies finish in 11th out of 26 teams. The top finisher for the Gauchos in this one was Shelby Nelson. The junior finished today’s race with a time of 21:14.3, her best 6K time of the season. This was good enough for her to finish 36th out of 276 runners. Coming in behind her was Micaela O’Connell, who registered a 21:44.3 in today’s race to finish 66th.
Coming into the third-place spot for the team was Ashling Carr. The junior ran across the finish line with a time of 22:22.7 for an 87th-place finish in Riverside. The final two Gauchos grabbed the 106th and 107th-place spots, and they were Lexi Darley and Isabella Abusaid. Freshman Darley ran a time of 22:46.6 in today’s meet while junior Abusaid ended her race with a time of 22:48.0.
“I think both the men and women ran strong races with the highlights being a Top 25 finish from Gus on the men’s side and a good race from Shelby coming off injury,” said Assistant Coach Hope Bender. “It was great to get to see the course one more time before The Big West Championships in two weeks!”
The team will have off for the next two weeks as they prepare to return to Riverside for The Big West Championships. More information on those races will come soon.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.