UCSB Cross Country Gears-Up For Big West Championships

Oct. 31, 2002

Santa Barbara, Calif.- The UC Santa Barbara men's cross country team hopes to defend its league crown while the Gaucho women's team seek their first ever title at the Big West Conference Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2002.

UC Riverside will be hosting the meet at the Agricultural Operations Cross Country Course. At 8:30 am the women's 5,000-meter event begins and at 9:45 am the men's 8,000-meter event begins. Conference schools which sponsor cross country in addition to UCSB are Cal Poly, CS Fullerton, CS Northridge, Idaho State, Long Beach, Pacific, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and Utah State.

The men's team had four of the top ten individual race times in 2001 confrence meet with the overall team finishing in first place for the second time in school history. This season UCSB is tabbed eighth in the latest West Regional poll, and are led by senior J.T. Service, who posted a top ten Big West finish in 2001. Recently leading a pack of Gauchos at the NCAA Pre-Nationals, Service helped the team finish in 62nd place.

The Santa Barbara women are ranked ninth in their respective West Region also looking to grab the first place team finish. On the women team returns raining Big West Female of the year Kate Appenrodt who won last years race in a time of 17:47.8. UCSB will also rely heavily on Freshman Desiree Leek as they attempt to improve on last years third place team finish and seek the return to the top.

Last week the UC Santa Barbara men's cross country team finished third of seven in the Titan Invitational (8K). The overall team score was 64 points with Alex Cardiasmenos finishing 10th with a time of 26:09.7 and Scott McConville finishing 14th at 26:30.1. The women's team also had a nice showing last week in Fullerton, finishing in fourth place out of eight with an overall score of 93 points. Desiree DeJesus finished fifth individually with a time of 18:47.7 and Laura Zung put up a nice time of 19:08.5 for the tenth individual finish.

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