SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A return from a quick stint at altitude in Mammoth Lakes has the UC Santa Barbara cross country teams equipped with fresh legs and refreshed mindsets, just in time to take on the Ag/Ops Course at the 37th Annual UC Riverside Invitational this weekend. This year's meet will be headlined by some regionally ranked teams from across the nation, including South Region #3 Alabama Men and #4 Women, Mountain Region's #4 Southern Utah Men, and South Central Region's #1 Arkansas Women who are also ranked #5 in the national rankings. Division 2 powerhouses Chico State (West #1 Men and Women) and Cal Poly Pomona (#2 West Men and Women) will also be in attendance.
UCR Invite Meet Information
When: Saturday, September 16th, 2017
Where: UC Riverside Ag/Ops Course
7:30am: Women's 6k Invitational
8:05am: Men's 8k Invitational
8:40am: Women's 5k Open
9:15am: Men's 8k Open 9:50am: Awards Presentation
The Ag/Ops Course is located adjacent to campus on the 420-acre Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station on the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Canyon Crest Drive. From the 215/60 freeway, exit Martin Luther King and go West. Turn left at the Canyon Crest traffic light and travel approximately 300 meters to the course entrance. Please check-in with gate personnel upon arrival for instructions.
Parking for home cross country meets is in Lot 30 located in the Northwest corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Canyon Crest Drive. Shuttles will be available to transport spectators from the parking lot to the course and back to the parking lot. A $6 fee is payable to the attendant on site. If no attendant is present, please use the dispenser located in the lot. Media parking is available at the course.
There is a $5 General Admission charge and they will accept Visa, MasterCard, & American Express. Admission for children ages 3 and under is free.
The men's team will be looking to approach this meet with a newfound sense of youthful enthusiasm, as three true freshmen will be donning the blue and gold for the first time this season. With the addition of Nick Randazzo, Brian Schulz, and Thomas Wilfert, some fresh new faces may be what the men's team needs as the season progresses. Patrick Bourke will be keen to direct these young guns after leading the Gauchos a few weeks prior at the UCSB Lagoon Meet. Patrick's guidance and course expertise will be taken well accounted for with this young group, as demonstrated by his 24th place finish last year at the invitational in 24:44.1.
The women's team will once again be spearheaded by none other than Jenna Hinkle, who's fresh off an individual win at the Lagoon Meet, improving her second-place performance the year prior. Jenna looks to further ride that momentum and continue to best her 2016 cross campaign, which culminated in a 31st place finish at the NCAA West Regional Meet. In contrast to the men's more youthful approach, the women come in returning their top five from this meet last year with the likes of Miranda Ross and Katie Camarena, who both own sub-21 clockings on this course, as well as Tori Yanco and Isa Marshall, the latter making her season debut after sitting out the Lagoon Meet. This veteran squad will also include Emily Lopez, who as described by Pete Dolan had one of her best career performances a few weeks ago at the Lagoon Meet, placing 5th overall, as well as true freshman Andrea Anez, who placed 11th overall at the same meet.
This weekend will serve as a great practice run before the conference meet, which will once again be hosted by UC Riverside on the Ag/Ops course later this season. The last time the conference meet was held on this course, the men took home the team title to become back to back champions while the women took an astounding second.