Moreno wins UC Riverside Invitational to Lead UCSB Women to Second Place Team Finish, Men Third Overall in a Cross Regional Showdown

Dani Moreno (Photo by Francis Lipinski)
Dani Moreno (Photo by Francis Lipinski)

For complete results, click here

Riverside, Calif.- With the scheduled temperature in Riverside set to top out at 103 degrees, the cross country racing got off to an early start Saturday morning at UCR's scenic AG course. Still conditions in the mid-70's combined with a hard-packed flat course to make for some fast racing for those who were awake enough to take the line for the 7:30am starting pistol. Dani Moreno was wide awake as she stormed out of the chute, claiming the race victory for the second year in a row. Moreno put her veteran horsepower on full display as she covered the 6,000m course in 20:25.5, outpacing the nearest competitor by nearly eight seconds. Teammate Maxine Goyette, the Lagoon runner-up, put together another impressive performance and finished third overall in 21:00.5. 

From a team perspective, the UCSB women held the fastest five-woman average of the day but couldn't match the No. 4 and No. 5 position depth of Utah Valley who won 95 pts. to the Gauchos 113 pts. 

Results (Top-five scorers) 

Utah Valley 95pts.  12 14 19 23 27
UCSB 113pts. 1 3 8 49 52
UCR 129pts. 2 7 30 44 46
SDSU 135pts. 17 18 24 37 39
UCSD 145pts.  13 20 22 42 48

 

Sarah Schreck, last years' Big West runner-up in the 10,000m finished eighth overall in 21:24.4. Freshman Jenna Hinkle placed 50th with a time of 22:24.8. Following closely behind Hinkle was Tori Tsolis breaking the tape in 53rd at 22:25.8. A pair of freshman harriers rounded out the team effort for the Gauchos with Sophie Hartley in 62nd with a 22:39.9 clip and Sophie Smith at 22:38.6. 

The Gauchos were without two of their top runners, missing their anchor at No. 2 Christine Cooperstein and senior Bailey Miller who is a solid No. 4 for the Gauchos. Both athletes have been training well but were held out for precautionary reasons. 

"The women we're about what we expected," said Gaucho Head Coach Pete Dolan.

"We missed an opportunity without Bailey and Coop but now we have to get back to work. We have two weeks until Stanford so we'll shift our sights to that. Dani was Dani. She did a great job for us. Maxine and Sarah ran well and are really coming on right now."

Men's Recap

On the men's side, UCSB locked into an inter-regional battle with Midwest power Minnesota and one of the dominant Mountain Region teams of late, Southern Utah. The men finished third overall and couldn't overcome the sharp top-end of Minnesota who won with 43 total points. The Gauchos finished with 97 points. 

Results (Top-five scorers)

Minnesota 43 pts. 2 5 9 11 16
Southern Utah 48 pts. 3 6 12 13 14
UCSB 97 pts.  8 10 18 28 33
UCR 149 pts.  4 7 26 54 58
UCSD 155 pts.  17 21 35 38 44

 

Junior Brian Guijarro battled with the lead pack and covered the 8,000m course in 24:20.1, taking eighth overall. Anthony Ortolan finished in tenth in 24:23.3, working closely with Guijarro until the finish. 

The winner was Central Arizona's Harry Mulenga who ran 23:56.1. 

Shyan Vaziri continued to build his cross country resume after a record setting year on the track. He finished in 18th with a 24:45.4 effort. 

Running in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots for the Gauchos were Anthony Monroy and Brad Littooy respectively. Monroy covered the course in 29th overall running 24:59.6. Littooy was 36th overall with an 8k performance of 25:06.3. 

Also competing for the Gauchos in the Invitational were Bryce Rausa, 46th, 25:22.1, George Baier, 52nd, 25:27.6, Abel Mogesse, 59th, 25:33.9, Adam Avila, 65th, 25:38.5, Andrew Verdin, 81st, 25:54.8, Jack Morgenson, 107th, 26:18.2 and Patrick Bourke, 130th, 26:33.9. 

"It was a bit of a mystery day for the men. Brian, Anthony and Shyan carried the load. We had some nice things happen but it's time to refocus for Stanford. Minnesota lived up to their billing. It was a good test for us. Now it's time to get back to work." said Dolan. 

 

The Gauchos will return to cross country action on Saturday, September 27th.