Aug. 28, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The 2009 Gaucho cross country season will begin on Saturday, Sept. 5 with the UCSB Lagoon Open. Three races will be contested, beginning with an Alumni/Community 5k at 9:30 a.m. The women's Open 5k will be held next at 10:30 a.m., and the men's Open 8k will begin at 11:00 a.m. The staging area will be behind the University Center (UCEN).
The Cal Poly and UCSB men's teams are expected to be at the top of the Big West this season. The preseason coaches poll has the Mustangs tipped to win the conference, with the Gauchos picked to finish second.
Key athletes for the Gaucho men include Scott Smith, who took third at the Conference Championships last season and 27th in the West Regional. Julian deRubira took sixth at Conference and had a strong series of unattached meets during the 2009 track season. Waleed Totari was 10th at Conference and was All-Big West in the 10,000m in the 2009 track season.
Though the Gaucho women will be without the services of Danielle Domenichelli - who was the conference champion last season, the team should be stronger with the addition of two transfer students.
Amanda Moreno joins the Gauchos from the University of Nevada-Reno, where she clocked a 16:35 in the 5k. Crystal Reed will compete in her first cross country season after transferring from Orange Coast College, where she was a two-time California State Champion in the community college division. Breanne Strenkowski, who was the 2007 Big West Freshman of the Year for cross country, and Katie Voigtlander, who qualified for the steeplechase Regionals in last year's track season, will also be key to the team's success.
The preseason coaches poll has the Cal Poly women finishing third in the Conference (although they received two first-place votes), and the Gauchos were picked to finish fifth.
Complete poll results are listed below.
Men's Cross Country Coaches Poll Results
No. School Pts. 1. Cal Poly (8) 64 2. UC Santa Barbara 50 3. UC Riverside 49 4. UC Davis 42 6. Long Beach State 32 5. UC Irvine 25 7. Cal State Fullerton 18 8. Cal State Northridge 8
( ) First-place votes
Women's Cross Country Coaches Poll Results
No. School Pts. 1. UC Riverside (4) 70 2. UC Davis (2) 68 3. Cal Poly (2) 66 4. Cal State Fullerton 54 5. UC Santa Barbara 48 6. UC Irvine 39 7. Long Beach State 33 8. Cal State Northridge 17 9. Pacific 10
( ) First-place votes
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