Sept. 23, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - UC Santa Barbara's cross country team traveled to the Roy Griak Inviational in Minneapolis Saturday morning and had one of the greatest performances in team history. The Gauchos not only secured the team title, but placed three runners in the top six capped off by Seniors Stephanie Rothstein and Lauren Christman finishing first and second.
The unranked Gaucho women took first place with 87 points defeating last years team champion and nationally ranked No. 9 Arizona State (108). Also in the top 6 were No. 13 Baylor (120), No. 16 Minnesota (137) No. 23 Michigan State (143) and No. 26 Virginia (158). Also competing were UCLA (277) and No. 18 Marquette (289). The field was comprised of thirty teams, nine that advanced to the NCAA Championships a year ago.
Rothstein (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz), secured another monumental race as she became the first Gaucho to win Griak, a race where six times the individual champion has gone on to win the NCAA crown . The 2003 Big West Champion Rothstein was a step ahead of 2004 Big West Champion Christman (Sr., Santa Cruz, Calif.) as they covered the 6,000m course in 21:12.45 and 21:12.95 respectively. Just seconds behind in sixth was Lindsay Christman (Sr., Santa Cruz, Calif.), finishing in 21:30.75. The Christmans participated in their first collegiate race in almost two years after red shirting the 2005 cross country and 2006 track seasons.
Closing out the scoring for UCSB were Bethany Nickless (Jr., Fountain Valley, Calif.), who placed 32nd at 22:09.60 and Liza Hitchner (So., Half Moon Bay, Calif.) who finished 52nd in 22:34.35. Three more women finished under 23 minutes for UCSB with Megan Lewis (Jr., Tracy, Calif.) 59th at 22:41.75, Danielle Domenichelli (So., El Dorado Hills, Calif.) 72nd at 22:52.10 and Hadas Moser (Sr., Irvine, Calif.) 76th at 22:57.80. Newcomer Katie Voigtlander (Fr., Burlingame, Calif.) making her first trip to Griak finished 174th at 24:14.65
The Gauchos will return to action Oct. 14th when they once again travel cross country to compete against the majority of the NCAA's top ranked teams at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind.