`B' Squad Gains Experience At UC Riverside Invitational

Sept. 21, 2002


Riverside, Calif - A young squad of Gauchos finished 13th at the UCR Invitational Saturday, led by redshirt sophomore Jeff Gardina (Santa Rosa, Calif) in 57th place (26:30). The Gauchos ran a steady team race, enduring the dust and heat on a sweltering day in Riverside. Finishing close behind Gardina was true freshman Justin Coburn (Clovis, Calif) in 63rd (26:33), as the Gaucho 'B' squad finished 13th of 26 teams, beating fellow conference competitor Long Beach State on the flat and dusty 8200 meter course.

2001 Big West runners-up Utah State edged Cal Poly as the first collegiate team in the race, finishing second. With its top runners preparing for next weekend's Stanford Invitational, the defending Big West champion Gauchos sent a young group of five to the UCR Invitational to preview the Agricultural Operations Center course on the UCR campus, site of the 2002 Big West championships.

Other finishers for the Gauchos included freshman Ben Berkowitz (Boca Raton, Florida) in 73rd (26:41), sophomore Jason Boyce (89th, 27:01) and freshman Khalil Hallack (180th, 28:26).

The Gaucho men will return to racing next Saturday in Palo Alto at the Stanford Invitational, held on the University golf course. Host site of the 2002 Western Regional Cross Country Championships, the meet will give the Gauchos their first taste of national-class competition this season. The Gauchos will hope to gain potential at-large qualifying points as they preview the Regional course. The men's 8k race is set to go off at 5:15 pm.