Oct. 19, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -- -
Spread across the country Saturday morning, the UC Davis men's and women's cross country teams completed a busy day on the course, with the men's team finishing 20th in Indiana, the women's team finishing 21st in Wisconsin, and the balance of the squad competing at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.
The three competitions served as the final warm-up for the Aggies prior to the 2013 Big West Conference Championships on Nov. 2 in San Luis Obispo.
2013 INDIANA STATE PRE-NATIONALS
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- UC Davis junior Trevor Halsted finished 52nd overall to lead the men and the Aggies' men's cross country team finished 20th among a field of 52 teams Saturday morning at the 2013 Indiana State Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind.
"The Pre-National Invitational provided us a great opportunity to race at the highest levels of our sport," UC Davis Assistant Coach Devin Elizondo said. "We continue to show improvement toward our ultimate goals as we look to the championship phase of the season."
UC Davis finished just six points back of Virginia Tech and four points ahead of Indiana overall, and was one of two Big West Conference schools in the competition as Cal Poly placed 12th as a team. Second-ranked Colorado won the meet by 23 points over fourth-ranked Oregon. Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka took home individual honors in a time of 22:52.78.
Halsted covered the 8K course in a time of 24:13.97 and was followed closely by sophomore teammate Brandon Pugh in 62nd place with a time of 24:18.66 to pace the UC Davis contingent on the course that will host the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23.
"Those two provide a presence upfront in any field," Elizondo said. "We also received a boost from transfer Will Melton, who has proven to be an important contributor."
Melton finished 142nd in the event with a time of 24:54.48, sophomore Jordan Rushing was 165th with a time of 25:01.70, sophomore Nicholas Ratto was 207th with a time of 25:13.73, senior Grayson Hough was 253rd with a time of 25:31.85, and sophomore Cody Nguyen was 316th with a time of 26:14.03 against a competitive field of 359 runners.
"While we look favorably on today's result, we know we need to make some necessary gains if we want to become a team that can compete in a fast-improving West Region," Elizondo said.
WISCONSIN ADIDAS INVITATIONAL
MADISON, Wisc. -- Senior Sarah Sumpter finished 34th overall while freshman Hannah Kirkegaard also posted a top-100 finish Saturday morning, helping UC Davis finish 21st out of 37 teams at the 2013 Wisconsin adidas Invitational.
"Today, the women took a step closer to putting together the components that will form the best squad that we can put on the line for important races to come," Aggies' Head Coach Drew Wartenburg said. "We were, again, led by Sarah up front, and we really need to get some more numbers forward to compete closer to our true ability."
Arizona took home the team title, placing three runners in the top 20, while Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino won the individual title with a time of 19:31. UC Davis was just eight points back of NC State and five points ahead of Florida in the standings.
Sumpter covered the 6K course in a time of 20:27 to post the top Aggie time of the day, just one second behind Arizona State's Adriana Olivas in a tightly grouped pack. Kirkegaard completed the course in 21:06 to finish 97th.
"Hannah put together a great effort in just her second collegiate invitational as a freshman, but we have discussed making a commitment to provide some stronger veteran support in our next two races," Wartenburg said.
Junior Katie Fry finished the course just three seconds back of her teammate Kirkegaard in 21:09 to place 106th, senior Alycia Cridebring finished 148th with a time of 21:26, sophomore Erika Barr was 187th in a time of 21:49, and senior Shannon Harcus rounded out the lineup with a time of 22:02 to finish 210th.
"Alycia was given orders to race tentatively as she tests the waters in her return to racing, and we were glad to see her back in uniform this weekend," Wartenburg said. "While we go home knowing we let a handful of teams escape our grasp today, the shared belief at this pointis that we will be an improved team in two weeks at the conference meet, and then, better still a month from now at regionals.
"It's no surprise that the West Region is shaping up to be the deepest in the nation, and making the trip to Wisconsin was an important test for this team as it enters the championship month ahead."
SANTA CLARA BRONCO INVITATIONAL
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Sophomore Amar Dholakia finished 60th overall to pace the men while freshman Olivia Goins was 91st in the women's 6K on Saturday, leading the Aggies' efforts at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.
Dholakia covered the 8K course in a time of 24:52 to help lead UC Davis to a 14th place finish. Sophomore Eric Neill (25:16.2) and senior Nathan Strum (25:23.9) were separated by only seven seconds to finish 92nd and 103rd, respectively, while senior Trevor Ehlenbach (25:50.6) and sophomore Patrick Fitzgerald (25:55.9) rounded out the top five in 137th and 144th, respectively.
On the women's side, an entirely underclassman lineup that featured four freshmen and three sophomores was led by Goins, who paced the Aggies with a time of 21:58.4, and was closely followed by sophomore teammate Katherine Ott in 94th with a time of 22:03.1, to lead UC Davis to a 16th-place finish.
Freshman Clara MacLeod finished 116th with a time of 22:17.5 and was closely followed by sophomore Nicole Lane in 120th with a time of 22:19.4. Freshman Kayla Knapp rounded out the scorers in 134th with a time of 22:33.4.