SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara senior Jenna Hinkle (Cottonwood, Calif./West Valley HS) received her third Big West Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week nod this season as she claimed first place in the 5K at the Highlander Invitational.
Hinkle's winning time of 16:48.0 amounted to a personal-best 5K for the veteran runner, who helped the Gauchos attain the team title with 50 points. UCSB outscored fellow Big West squads Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, Long Beach State, CSUN and UC Irvine.
The Gauchos initially were set to compete in northern California that weekend, but questionable air quality from the fires in that area forced them to change venues at the last minute. It was Hinkle's second individual title this season, and she has finished at least in the top-eight in all four races.