Oct. 3, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The west regional is still more than a month away, but the UC Davis men's and women's cross country teams will get a peek at the course and the competition awaiting them in November when they race on Friday morning at the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento.
The meet is the first solid competition for the bulk of the UC Davis teams who have had limited competition so far this season. Friday, however, they'll get an opportunity to test race plans and training while seeing regional counterparts, including many in the Big West.
"To say that our athletes are chomping at the bit for some competition would be an understatement and we have asked them to prepare individual and team race plans for Friday that will put us in positions to succeed while also allowing for a little risk-taking," said Aggie coach Drew Wartenburg.
UC Davis picked up early season racing with the Aggie Open in August while a limited number of runners traveled to the Bay Area last weekend for the Stanford Invitational. However, the most of the expected front-pack runners remained in the area to train for the bulk of the season which begins in earnest this weekend.
"While we know that right now we are by no means at 100 percent of where we hope to be come late season, we still want to make sure that we walk off the course at Haggin Oaks knowing that we have put a good foot forward," Wartenburg said. "The ability to race at a meet like this without the rigors of long travel days on either end means that we really only have to focus on showing up on race day and taking care of business, and hopefully both the men and women capitalize on that fact Friday."
Eleven women will represent UC Davis while the men's team will have nine. Both teams enter with regional rankings from the USTFCCA; the women are sixth in the west while the men are 15th.
Seven regionally ranked women's teams and five men's squads are among the 33 total teams scheduled to compete. San Francisco is ranked 24th nationally to lead the women's entrants while UCLA is ranked 12th on the men's side.
Haggin Oaks provides a new venue for local cross country racing. The men's 8K, which begins at 9:30 a.m., and the women's 5K, which starts at 10:30, are both being contested on a race course being used for the first time.
"The Regional Preview meet serves as an excellent chance for us to gain a measure of our team's fitness while also getting a feel for the course that we will run again in mid-November when all teams from the west region race for national berths," said Wartenburg. "In looking over the start lists, this meet has coincidentally shaped up to be a Big West Conference preview meet in addition to a dress rehearsal for the regional event."
UC Davis will race in the Big West Championships on Nov. 2 with the NCAA West Regional scheduled for Nov. 15.
NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree
Haggin Oaks Golf Course
UC DAVIS ENTRANTS
WOMEN - Erika Barr, Katie Fry, Olivia Goins, Rianna Goins, Shannon Harcus, Christine Hoffman, Hannah Kirkegaard, Clara MacLeod, Sarah Sumpter, Hilary Teaford, Anna Welsh.
MEN - Trevor Ehlenbach, Trevor Halsted, Grayson Hough, Will Melton, Eric Neil, Cody Nguyen, Brandon Pugh, Jordan Rushing.