Aggies race for NCAA berth at West Regionals

Assistant Coach Devin Elizondo addresses his student-athletes following the 2016 Doc Adams Open at the Putah Creek Reserve Course on Nov. 5.
Nov. 10, 2016

THIS WEEK…
UC Davis at NCAA West Regional Championships
Friday, Nov. 11, 2016
Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
Sacramento, Calif.
Women's 6K: 11:00 a.m.
Men's 10K: Noon
Meet Information: 2016 NCAA West Regional Championships
Live Results: http://www.rtspt.com/events/ncaa/d1westxc16/

DAVIS, Calif. -- The UC Davis men's and women's cross country teams toe the line in search of a berth into this year's NCAA Championships, making a return trip across the Causeway for the 2016 NCAA West Regionals co-hosted by Sacramento State and the Sacramento Sports Commission.

The meet will be held on Friday (Nov. 11) at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex beginning with the women's 6K race at 11:00 a.m., followed by the men's 10K competition at Noon. This will be the first time since 2013 that Sacramento will be the host for the event, with Stanford taking home the men's title and Arizona claiming team honors on the women's side that season. The top two teams from the regional will earn automatic berths into this year's NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 19.

Friday's field features six teams ranked among the top 20 on the men's side (No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 UCLA, No. 10 Oregon, No. 12 Portland, No. 17 Washington State, and No. 20 Boise State), with another (Washington) among those receiving votes, while on the women's side, six schools are ranked among the top 30 (No. 4 Washington, No. 7 Stanford, No. 10 Portland, No. 11 Oregon, No. 16 San Francisco, and No. 27 California), with two more receiving votes (Cal Poly and UCLA).

With the bulk of the team sitting out last week's home finale at the Doc Adams Open, the Aggies are well-rested for this week's regional competition after racing at the Big West Conference championships 11 days ago in Hawai'i. The women finished second -- the sixth time in 10 seasons that they have been among the top two at the league championships -- and the men ended the day in sixth place.

Seniors Hannah Kirkegaard and Nicole Lane, along with freshman Julia Lemak, lead the way after posting top-15 finishes at the conference championships, with Kirkegaard picking up her second career All-Big West honor by virtue of her 10th-place finish. Lemak was just three-tenths of a second behind in 11th, while Lane was 14th.

The Aggie women have finished among the top 15 at regionals as a team eight times in their previous nine trips to the regional meet, looking to improve on a 15th-place finish last year in Seattle.

Although only allowed to race seven, 11 runners have been entered into the meet, with Lane as the only holdover from last year's regional scoring group, finishing 96th out of a field of 242 runners in a time of 22:18.1. Kirkegaard last competed as a sophomore in 2014, finishing with a time of 22:41.8.

Meanwhile, on the men's side, UC Davis looks to a youthful group to help the Aggies improve on last year's 13th-place finish -- the program's highest since the 2013 squad finished 13th on this very course at the Haggin Oaks Golf Course.

Sophomore Jordy Ceja, who finished 23rd at the Big West Championships, looks to continue a season that has seen the Panorama City, Calif., native be the first Aggie across the line in every meet he has competed in this season. Ceja, the only active Aggie who competed at last year's regionals and finished with a time of 33:44.9, posted a career-best finish at the conference meet, while junior Oliver Abundez-Dominguez showed well at his first league competition, ending the day 31st with a time of 26:22.8.

A complete list of entries for the meet is located online at http://www.rtspt.com/events/ncaa/d1westxc16/west_entries.pdf.

UC DAVIS AT NCAA WEST REGIONALS (Division I only)
2007 - Springfield, Ore. (Springfield Country Club) - Men (11th) / Women (17th)
2008 - Stanford, Calif. (Stanford Golf Course) - Men (11th) / Women (6th)
2009 - Springfield, Ore. (Springfield Country Club) - Men (11th) / Women (7th)
2010 - Springfield, Ore. (Springfield Country Club) - Men (9th) / Women (15th)
2011 - Stanford, Calif. (Stanford Golf Course) - Men (17th) / Women (8th)
2012 - Seattle, Wash. (Jefferson Golf Course) - Men (15th) / Women (6th)
2013 - Sacramento, Calif. (Haggin Oaks Golf Course) - Men (13th) / Women (7th)
2014 - Stanford, Calif. (Stanford Golf Course) - Men (19th) / Women (11th)
2015 - Seattle, Wash. (Jefferson Golf Course) - Men (13th) / Women (15th)

TOP UC DAVIS INDIVIDUAL MEN'S FINISHES AT NCAA WEST REGIONALS (Division I only)
2007 - Springfield, Ore. - Jonathan Peterson (43rd, 31:16.00)
2008 - Stanford, Calif. - K.C. Cody (40th, 30:21.69)
2009 - Springfield, Ore. - Jonathan Peterson (17th, 31:11.74)
2010 - Springfield, Ore. - Jonathan Peterson (5th, 30:07.41)
2011 - Stanford, Calif. - Jonathan Peterson (10th, 29:30)
2012 - Seattle, Wash. - Trevor Halsted (20th, 30:12)
2013 - Sacramento, Calif. - Brandon Pugh (34th, 30:37)
2014 - Stanford, Calif. - Amar Dholakia (86th, 31:10.7)
2015 - Seattle, Wash. - Trevor Halsted (27th, 31:47.0)

TOP UC DAVIS INDIVIDUAL WOMEN'S FINISHES AT NCAA WEST REGIONALS (Division I only)
2007 - Springfield, Ore. - Kim Conley (28th, 21:12.90)
2008 - Stanford, Calif. - Kim Conley (12th, 20:20.79)
2009 - Springfield, Ore. - Sarah Sumpter (22nd, 21:32.79)
2010 - Springfield, Ore. - Caitlin Fitzgerald (33rd, 20:52.68)
2011 - Stanford, Calif. - Sarah Sumpter (28th, 20:58)
2012 - Seattle, Wash. - Sarah Sumpter (13th, 20:03)
2013 - Sacramento, Calif. - Alycia Cridebring (19th, 20:08)
2014 - Stanford, Calif. - Christine Hoffmann (23rd, 20:54.4)
2015 - Seattle, Wash. - Erika Barr (27th, 21:16.5)

UC DAVIS ALL-REGION SELECTIONS* (Division I only)
2007 - None
2008 - Kim Conley, Kaitlin Gregg
2009 - Jonathan Peterson, Sarah Sumpter
2010 - Jonathan Peterson, Calvin Thigpen
2011 - Jonathan Peterson
2012 - Trevor Halsted, Alycia Cridebring, Sarah Sumpter
2013 - Alycia Cridebring
2014 - Christine Hoffmann
2015 - None

* Top 25 individual finish at the regional meet