Oct. 15, 2005
While the top Gauchos battled at the Pre-NCAA meet in Indiana, Coach Pete Dolan dispatched the B-Teams to the 2005 VS Athletics/Cal Poly Cross Country Invitational. The race, run on the Fairbanks cross country course, ranks as one of the most grueling courses on the Gaucho schedule.
In the men's 8,000m race, professional runner Ben Bruce set a new course record winning the race in 25:42. The Gaucho men made a solid showing placing 2nd, ahead of conference rival UC Irvine's A-Team, with 45 points, and taking second to Cal Poly SLO with 21 points. Senior Stewart Harwell ran a conservative first couple miles, then came on strong to lead the team with an overall 7th place finish with a good time of 26:38. It is likely that this effort will propel Harwell to run at the Big West Championships which allows 9 athletes to race. Mike Powers also ran well just six seconds behind Stewart placing 8th overall. Rounding out the top five was freshman Waleed Totari (14th, 27:04), senior Ben Berkowitz (17th, 27:09) and freshman Daniel Cuevas (18th, 27:14). Totari's and Cuevas's 8k times mark the fastest times ever run by any Gaucho freshmen over the Fairbanks Course.
In the women's race, the team was unusually short-handed as several key runners are red-shirting which has depleted the usual Gaucho depth. The women's 5,000 meter race was won by Gaucho red-shirt Stephanie Rothstein who cruised to victory in 17:22 winning in a course record time of 17:22 and more than 30 seconds ahead of the closest collegiate runner. Rothstein has one more year of eligibility which she'll use next season.
As a teame, the Gaucho women took 8th led by true freshman Christina Moore who clocked a respectable 19:05, good for 23rd place. Senior Laura Zung also ran strong placing 31st in 19:16. Aseel Danan, Katie Kramer and Diana Joyner normally regarded for the sprinting events on the track, stepped up to round out the Gauchos' top 5.
The Gauchos will have their Big West Championship race in two weeks, hosted by UC Riverside at the Agricultural Operations Course.