The UCSB men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Riverside to compete in The Big West Championships held at the Ag/Ops Cross Country Course on the campus of UC Riverside. Following the two races, the Gauchos had two Top 10 finishes while both teams finished in the top half of the field.
The first race of the day kicked off at 8:30 a.m. as the women’s team took off against their other conference foes. The ladies all came in close together, truly running the race as a team. With this performance, they finished the meet in fifth, tying with Cal State Fullerton, who took over fourth in the tie breaker.
The first Gaucho across the finish line was Sarah Chaves. The senior from Sacramento came across the finish line in 13th with a time of 20:35.5. Behind her was freshman Ava Maier who came in at 20:50.5 while junior Stina Johansson took an additional three seconds to finish her race with a time of 20:53.4. Rounding out the top five was Sarah Auther with a 20:55.8 and Lauren Lum with a 20:57.4.
The Big West Championships allows teams to compete with nine runners, which gave Shelby Nelson, Madeline Franco, Micaela O’Connell and Ruby Sirota-Foster the chance to help their team today. They all finished between 21:00.8 and 21:37.1.
On the men’s side, the team ran an incredible race, getting beaten out slightly by a strong Cal Poly team. Regardless, the Gauchos finished in second place today.
The first member of this squad to finish their race was freshman Ethan Godsey. The Agoura, California native came in fourth today, earning him a spot on the podium for his first Big West Championship meet with a time of 23:47.1. Also earning a spot on stage and in the Top 10 was Gus Marshall. The sophomore from Los Angeles came across the finish line at 24:02.7, which was good enough for ninth place. Rounding out the top five for the Gauchos today was Manan Vats with a 24:23.8, Esteban Magana with a 24:32.4 and Preston Bowlds with a 24:37.8.
The Gauchos had four other runners compete in this race, and they were Brandon Cobian, Nate Osborn, Advait Krishnan and Matt Richardson. Cobian used his experiences to come in at 24:43.3 while freshman Osborn was close behind with a 25:04.0. Krishnan was just one second behind his teammate with a 25:05.5 while Richardson came across at 26:07.2.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will take the next two weeks to recover and train before making the trip to Seattle for the NCAA West Regional in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The regional will take place on Friday, Nov. 11.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.