Men Prepare for Big West Conference Championships

Oct. 26, 2004

The UCSB men will enter the Big West Conference Championships Saturday with hopes of claiming second place. Cal Poly SLO is currently ranked 6th in the country after an exceptional performance at the pre-NCAA meet. If any team were to beat the Mustangs, it would rank as one of the most stunning upsets in conference history.

However the race for second place should be an interesting event. UCSB was originally slightly favored to finish 2nd in the Big West to Utah State. However Utah State crushed the Gauchos two weeks ago at the Pre-NCAA meet. The men did not perform up to their abilities and are hoping to bounce back at the conference meet. Meanwhile UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton ran strong two weeks ago and could factor into the fray.

The individual title is not quite as predictable. Cal Poly has several athletes that could win. Utah State's Trever Ball has been running well and should be towards the front along with Idaho's 26 year old German steeplechaser Jan Eitel.

UCSB has a couple athletes with chances of earning All-Conference honors. True sophomore Chris Ashley has had a very solid 2nd year and may be a year away from being in the hunt for the individual title. Fellow sophomore Mike Chavez has also been running beyond his years, but will need to step up his racing a little more to be in the top 10.

The men's race will go off at 9AM on Saturday at the UC Riverside Cross Country Course.