Chris Ashley Earns Big West Athlete of the Year Honors
Nov. 7, 2005
Announced Thursday by the Big West Conference Office and voted on by each Big West program, Chris Ashley was named the 2005 Male Athlete of the Year for his season performances, culminating in a convincing Big West Championship victory by over ten seconds en route to setting a Riverside Cross Country record of 23:51.7 for 8,000 meters. He was also named the UCSBGauchos.com Student-Athlete of the Week
Ashley a junior out of San Mateo and Aragon H.S. has quite remarkably become one of the toughest Cross Country runners in the Gaucho program and Big West Conference. He began his season by running unnattached at the Home Opener vs. Cal Poly SLO where he finished 2nd behind teammate Mike Chavez who set a course record himself.
In his second race of '05 and first in uniform, he began to show some grit at the Stanford Invitational as a conservative team effort through 2.5 miles made him work through the field. He would wind up taking 10th in a personal best on the Stanford course of 24:10 as the Gauchos first across the line.
Two weeks prior to the Conference Championship he had his only setback of '05 running a less than perfect race at the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, IN. He finished in 79th with a time of 24:53 as UCSB's second man. However, adding fuel to his fire and learning from some of his mistakes at that invitational he took his learned lessons into the Big West Championships and ran away with a title.
Ashley in '04 earned Big West All-Conference honors by finishing 4th at the Championships. Other accolades include winning the Fresno Invite in early September of 2004.
As a Senior in High School he held a best of 16:19 for 5,000m at the Woodward Park State Cross Country meet in Fresno, CA where he finished 54th in the Div. II finals and 151st overall in 2002.