Sunnyvale, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara cross country team took the trek back up to Northern California for their last regular season meet at the Bronco Invitational hosted by Santa Clara University this past weekend. Along the dirt loop trails of Baylands Park, the men's team were able to take seventh out of 20 total teams for the invitational 8k while the women's team had a rough day in 13th overall out of 24 teams for the invitational 6k.
With the crowd beginning to really take shape as the gun went off at 8:30 am, an army of Chico State runners would take up the early pace with sophomore Nick Randazzo and redshirt junior Daniel Mountcastle hot on their heels. As the pellaton made their way past mile two, Randazzo would fall back slightly with fellow sophomore Brian Schulz slowly moving through the pack to cover the No. 2 scoring position right away. Mountcastle and Schulz would work side by side all the way to the finish with Mountcastle coming out on top in 15th place overall out of 178 total finishers in a solid time of 24:16.1. Schulz would finish shortly after in 25th at 24:21.4. Randazzo, coming back from sickness, would hold together well despite falling off the early pace by taking 40th in 24:36.5. To finish off the scoring, true freshman Jack Landgraf would just miss out on breaking 25 minutes for the first time at the eight kilometer distance with a time of 25:05.3 for 79th, while redshirt junior James Douglass would come in shortly after in 83rd with a time of 25:07.6.
Interim Head Coach Darius Terry would go on to remark that, "the top three performed very well this weekend. We sat out two of our top seven this meet in preparation for conference so I'm looking forward to a full squad out there at Fullerton on the 27th. The backend of our team is starting to move up so they're heading into the right direction at the right time."
Junior Katie Camarena would make her case early to bounce back from her performance at the Stanford Invitational by going with the early leaders as soon as the race began. She would be right with the lead pack by 400 meters in and would hold on valiantly up until the final stages of the race to finish in 14th overall out of 209 competitors with a time of 20:44.7, her second fastest 6k time in her career. Sophomore transfer Astrid Rosvall, fighting sickness like Randazzo, would start further back in the field but would tactfully race up to par for the occasion, solidly moving up throughout the field to take 47th overall in a time of 21:24.8.
Following Rosvall, true freshman Emma Overell would take on the No. 3 scoring position once again to take 86th overall in 21:55.7. Redshirt freshman Jasmine Rippey would be the No. 4 scorer on the day to take 108th in a time of 22:07.9, while sophomore Maddie Meade would take a top five scoring position for the first time this season to round out the scoring in 22:09.3.
"Katie was on top of it today," remarked Interim Head Coach Darius Terry. "I was glad to see her really take initiative. Emma's been a solid contributor lately so it's nice to see her improving as the season goes on. Unfortunately it wasn't a good day for the majority of the women's team, but they always step up at the right time for conference and regionals, so I trust that they'll be ready to go by then."
With the final regular season meet under their belts, the Gauchos will begin to lighten up the training load to feel nice and fresh for the Big West Conference Championships in two weeks time on October 27th. Check back at UCSBGauchos.com for future coverage and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional photos and news.