Nov. 13, 2010
EUGENE, Ore. -
The UC Santa Barbara women's cross country team placed three runners in the top-20 at the NCAA West Regional Championship in Eugene, Ore., and tied with Cal for fifth-place out of 31 teams with 159 points. The Gaucho men's team finished 11th out of 25 teams.
The UCSB women's team was paced by senior Amanda Moreno, the 2010 Big West Champion and Athlete of the Year, who finished eighth in the 6K race with a time of 20:20.70. Seniors Breanne Strenkowski (20:29.35) and Crystal Reed (20:32.09) finished 13th and 18th respectively.
"That was probably the best we could have run," said Gaucho assistant coach Bethany Nickless. "To have three runners in the top-20 big time."
"Our four and five runners ran huge," Nickless said. "Beechan ran the race of her career. She ran with Andrea (Jacobs) and had a great race."
Washington narrowly won the meet by a 73-77 margin over the host University of Oregon. Stanford was third with 86 and Arizona came in fourth with 90 points.
The fifth-place finish keeps the Gauchos in the mix to advance to the NCAA Championships as a team. Cal and the University of San Francisco, which finished seventh, both entered the West Regional ranked among the nation's top-25. Either way, Moreno and Strenkowski will advance to the national meet as individuals.
UCSB will find out its fate on Monday.
The Gaucho men's team, which didn't have a senior in the race, was paced by sophomores Juan Paredes (31:04.38) and Bhavik Kanzaria (31:05.55) who finished 45th and 47th respectively in the 10K race. Juniors Andrew Pilavjian (31:17.96) and Isadore Herrera (31:20.39) also finished among the top-70 at 66th and 69th.
"This was good experience for a young team," Nickless said. "Today's race will help as their careers progress. It's not necessarily what they wanted, but it was good experience.
Oregon won the men's race by a 63-65 score over Stanford. Cal (78), Portland (131) and Arizona State (179) rounded out the top-five. UCSB's 302 points placed them well ahead of 12th-place Cal Poly (351).