Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara Cross Country is set to open up their 2018 season at the Mark Covert Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton this Saturday, September 1st at Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea, CA. The course will serve as the eventual site for the Big West Conference Championships later this year, so the Gauchos will be keen to snag a sneak preview of what to expect in two months time.
When: September 1st, 2018
Where: Carbon Canyon Regional Park, 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, CA, 92821
8:00am Men's Non-Division 1, Club & Individual 8k
8:40am Men's Division 1 8k
9:15am Women's Division 1 5k
9:40am Women's Non-Division 1, Club & Individual 5k
The course will consist of multiple loops alternating between a 1k grass inner loop in the main section of the park and a dirt trail nature loop. The second nature loop of the men's course will have a 150m section of concrete pathway.
For parking, the price will be five dollars per vehicle to enter the park on the weekends.
The men come into the 2018 season ranked 13th in the West Region on the USTFCCCA Division One Pre-Season Regional Rankings, returning an established class of young but well versed team members including three top five scorers from last year's Big West Conference Cross Country Championships where they finished second as a team behind Cal Poly. With sophomores Yousef Baddour, Nick Randazzo, and Brian Schulz looking to lead the main group along with a promising 2018 recruiting class of freshmen ready to toe the line alongside the returners, it will be interesting to see how the pecking order unfolds for the men come Saturday.
The women return fresh off a first place finish at last year's Big West Conference Cross Country Championships where they narrowly defeated Cal Poly by just two points, 45 to 47. With the graduation of UCSB's top runner Jenna Hinkle, junior Katie Camarena will be looking to take the reigns as the top returner after finishing third as an individual at least year's conference championships along with taking home an astounding three fourth place finishes at the 2018 Big West Conference Track and Field Championships in the steeplechase, 1500m, and 5000m. With this in mind, the Gauchos will be pressed to see who will look to follow in tow of their lead runner, but with the likes of senior Miranda Ross who has proven to be within Camarena's range in cross as well as University of Texas at Arlington transfer Astrid Rosvall, the women's team looks to be in good hands leading into their season opener.