Lewis Leads the Gauchos to a Conference Title

Lewis Leads the Gauchos to a Conference Title

Oct. 27, 2007

2007 Big West Championships Results
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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Megan Lewis took the win, and Bethany Nickless finished right behind in 2nd to lead the Gauchos to their second-straight Conference Championship in women's cross country.

"It was a very competitive race, and I was impressed with the way Megan took over about halfway through," said Gauchos assistant coach Avery Blackwell.

"Bethany did a great job to overtake [UC Irvine's] Laura Olvera with less than a kilometer to go, and the entire squad battled back after a slow start."

The Gauchos had to come from behind, and they finished very strongly, with runners in three of the top-five positions. Lewis was first to cross the line with a time of 21:16, with Nickless finishing 2nd at 21:25, and Danielle Domenichelli in 5th at 22:05. The team finished with 44 points, ahead of runners-up UC Riverside (57 points), and third-place UC Irvine (59 points).

Liza Hitchner, who has been battling illness all week, turned in a brave performance and finished in 14th place with a time of 22:35. Freshman Breanne Strenkowski ran well in her first Conference Championships, placing 22nd with a time of 22:57. Also competing for the Gauchos were Alyssa Brown (26th, 23:11), and Ashley Ramirez (28th, 23:13).

The cross country teams will return to action on November 11th at the NCAA West Regionals in Eugene, Ore.