Aug. 30, 2002
Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara men's, coming off its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance, received 21 votes in the 2002 preseason MONDO Men's Cross Country Rankings, released on Aug. 27.
That point total is the 36th-highest of all teams nationally, and second-most among Big West Conference squads; Cal Poly garnered 31. In a vote of league coaches earlier this week, Utah State was picked to win the Big West title this season, followed by Cal Poly and UCSB.
In 2001 the Gauchos won their third conference crown in the past seven years before finishing fifth at the NCAA West Regional. That performance qualified Santa Barbara for the national meet in Greenville, S.C., where it placed 17th among the 31-team field.
The UCSB men's and women's cross country teams both begin the 2002 season this Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Fullerton Invitational, beginning at 9:00 a.m.