Oct. 1, 2006
Palo Alto, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's cross country team had a strong second place showing among 19 teams at the Stanford Invitational Saturday. The Gauchos finished with 56 points just behind host team and nationally 4th ranked Stanford, who finished with 42 points.
The UCSB men went out very conservative with the lead pack of Mike Chavez, Chris Ashley, Micah Tyhurst, JD Krawczyk and Tim Aukshunas sitting back between 40th and 50th at the mile. They remained 10 seconds behind the pack of 20 front runners at the two mile mark and did not start to move up until the 5k. The strategy paid off as the men were able to pick people off as group over the last two miles.
Senior Chavez finished fourth overall in the 8k race with a time of 23:45 followed 5 seconds later by defending Big West Champ and fellow Senior Chris Ashley in eighth with a time of 23:55. Krawczyk, in his first race of the 2006 campaign, finished in tenth with a time of 23:55 as the senior gave the Gauchos 3 of the top 10 finishers. Juniors Tyhurst (24:05) and Aukshunas (24:23) were able to move in the top 25 finishing in 16th and 24th respectively.
This was the first time the Santa Barbara men have raced at full strength and it showed as they defeated conference foes UC Irvine, 5th (127 points), Long Beach State, 7th (186 points) and Cal State Fullerton, 8th (267 points). Also in the field was perennial Division 2 power Chico State, 3rd (79 points) and UC Berkeley, 4th (113 points).
The Gauchos will find out this week if this showing will push them into the top 30 national rankings as the women's performance did last week.
Team Results (19 Teams)
1. 42 STANFORD (23:52 119:18) 2. 56 SANTA BARBARA (24:00 119:58) 3. 79 CHICO ST. (24:11 120:53) 4. 113 CALIFORNIA (24:28 122:20) 5. 127 UC IRVINE (24:34 122:50) 6. 181 NEW MEXICO (24:53 124:24) 7. 186 LONG BEACH ST. (24:55 124:35) 8. 267 CSU FULLERTON (25:28 127:17)