Gaucho Men Picked Third in Big West Preseason Poll

Sept. 1, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's cross country team was selected to repeat as Big West champions in a preseason poll of the league's coaches. The Gaucho men's squad was tabbed to finish third behind Cal Poly and UC Davis.

The UCSB women's team will be seeking its second consecutive league crown. In 2009, the Gauchos won their third title in the last four seasons. They return a solid core of runners including: Crystal Reed, Amanda Moreno, Breanne Strenkowski, Andrea Jacobs and Megan Petkovic. All five finished among the top-10 at the 2009 championship meet.

Santa Barbara received six of nine first-place votes and 78 points in the poll. UC Davis picked-up the other three votes and finished second with 72 points. Cal Poly was third with 66 points while UC Riverside and Long Beach State were fourth and fifth respectively.

The Gaucho men's team was picked third behind Cal Poly and UC Davis. The favored Mustangs were a unanimous choice to retain their championship. They had 64 points in the poll while UC Davis had 52 and UCSB 42. UC Riverside were picked fourth and fifth respectively.

Both UCSB teams open the 2010 season on Saturday in the annual Lagoon Open. A 5k race of alumni and members of the community will kick things off at 9:30 a.m. The women's 5k race between the Gauchos, Cal Poly and open runners will go off at 10:30 a.m. and the men's 8k, also with UCSB, Cal Poly and open runners, is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.

Anyone interested in running in an of the three meets are encouraged to contact Keli Kadota at Keli.Kadota@athletics.ucsb.edu or (805) 893-3722.