The UCSB men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Riverside Invite hosted by Big West competitor UC Riverside. With the gorgeous weather and perfect conditions, the times were fast in this race. However, that didn’t stop the Gauchos from finding success. After the women ran the 6K course, they finished in fifth of 31 teams while the men, who ran an 8K course, finished in 10th out of 29 teams.
The women competed on the 6K course in Riverside early this morning. With their fifth-place finish, the Gauchos beat out Cal Baptist, who received votes in the most recent USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll, and Big West competitors including hosts UC Riverside, Long Beach State and UC Davis. The best performer for UCSB was Sarah Chaves. The senior from Sacramento finished 28th of 265 runners with a time of 20:59.8.
The second Gaucho to cross the finish line is Lauren Lum. The junior finished with a time of 21:00.2, passing five runners from the 4K split to the end of the race. Fellow junior Stina Johansson helped her team with a time of 21:20.3, jumping 10 people in the process. Following up behind her were sophomores Sierra Ransweiler and Ruby Sirota-Foster, who had times of 21:22.3 and 21:24.2, respectively.
Two other runners helped the team out in today’s race, and they were Ava Maier and Sarah Auther. The freshman and the sophomore finished close together with times of 21:26.6 and 21:30.5, respectively.
“The women started the morning off with a bang,” said Shayla Houlihan, head coach of the cross country team. “They ran very similarly to the way they ran at the Lagoon Invite and were able to finish really strong over the last 2K of the race. I’m elated at the progress they’ve made in just one year. This is only the beginning so I’m excited to see what they can do once we really start doing some race specific work. The women in the open race ran just as well as the invite section women. Ashling Carr had a big breakthrough race for her and I know she’ll continue to build momentum.”
On the men’s side, the Gauchos earned a 10th-place finish out of 29 teams, moving up one spot from the 7.5K split. Brandon Cobain was the first runner to finish for UCSB. The junior from Los Angeles finished in 34th out of 266 runners, clocking a time of 24:24.4 along the way. Grabbing the second top spot on the team was Preston Bowlds. The freshman showed up big for the Gauchos, registering a time of 24:29.8 in this 8K race.
Following up behind Bowlds was sophomore Advait Krishnan. The San Jose native passed nine runners on his way to the finish line, securing a time of 24:48.9. Closing out the top five for the men are Esteban Magana and Zane Golpariani. The junior and redshirt sophomore each grabbed times of 24:53.9 and 24:57.6, respectively.
Along with these performers, Gus Marshall and Manan Vats rounded out the scoring for UCSB. Marshall, a sophomore out of LA, finished with a time of 24:59 while Vats, a junior out of La Crescenta, California, ran a time of 25:11.6
“We had many bright spots on individual performances on the men’s side,” Houlihan said. “Brandon Cobian led the way for the men and ran solid for this time of the season. Freshman Preston Bowlds had a stand out performance in the Invite section as well. The race of the day might go to freshman Nate Osborn in the open section. He went for it from the beginning and set himself up for a chance at winning the race. Impressive stuff all around. Looking forward to having the full squad healthy and ready for Notre Dame in two weeks.”
The Gauchos will have next weekend off from races, giving them time to train before heading to South Bend, Indiana, for the Joe Piane Invite hosted by the University of Notre Dame. That meet will take place on Friday, Sept. 30, with a start time of 7 a.m.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.