The Cal Poly men’s cross country team placed all seven scoring runners in the top 14 en route to winning the Big West Conference cross country championship Saturday.
The Mustangs took home their 11th Big West conference championship. Cal Poly claimed the title in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and won seven straight from 2003 to 2009 before losing to UC Davis last year, finishing fifth while the Aggies took home the crown.
“We want to carry on the legacy of those that came before us,” Cal Poly head coach Mark Conover said.
The Mustangs finished with 36 team points, 32 points ahead of second-place Santa Barbara and 33 ahead of third-place Long Beach State.
Two Mustangs led the charge: senior Daniel Gonia, who finished second, running the 8K UC Riverside Ag/Ops Course in 23 minutes 44 seconds, and teammate David Cardona, who finished fourth with a time of 23:58.
“We had a great front-running two,” Cal Poly head coach Mark Conover said. “You combine that with great grouping everyone that ran today had a solid race.”
Right behind Gonia and Cardona were five Mustangs who finished between ninth and 14th.
Ryan Cosens finished ninth (24:16.2), Brandon Shirck finished 10th (24:16.9), Michael Johnson placed 11th (24:18), Sean Davidson placed 13th (24:19.5) and Blake Ahrold finished 14th (24:24.9) to round out the scoring for Cal Poly.
“They impressed a lot of people today,” Conover said. “They impressed people because they ran together as a pack. The group has been a cohesive unit and how they ran today exemplified that.”
Chad Hall of UC Riverside was the men’s individual winner in 23:41.9.
On the women’s side, the Mustangs finished in fourth place with 88 points, 41 points behind conference champion UC Davis.
Leanne Fogg (20:41.9) and Meghan Breadmore (20:42.8) paced Cal Poly with third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, on the 6K course.
Courtney Kostrikin (20th, 21:21.3), Noelle Garcia (29th, 21:32.7), Aaren Cadieux (32nd, 21:42.7), Hanna Edwards (34th, 21:51.5) and Tansey Lystad (35th, 21:54.7) also scored for the Mustangs.
Long Beach State’s Rosa Del Toro won the individual championship in 20:27.
Oregon’s Jordan Hasay, the 2010 women’s champion, finished third in the 6K race at the Wigwam Resort’s Heritage Golf Course in Litchfield, Ariz.
Hasay, a former Mission Prep star, finished the race in 19 minutes, 50 seconds. The Oregonian newspaper reported that Hasay tried to pull away from the field midway through the race and the move backfired when Washington’s Katie Flood (19:32) and Stanford’s Kathy Kroeger (19:40) caught and passed Hasay over the final 600 meters.
“I should have maybe changed the strategy a little bit when I was feeling tired,” Hasay told The Oregonian. “But I just kept pressing it and didn’t have it in the end. I pressed because I wanted to practice different strategies.
“I’m the defending champion, so I wanted to win it again, but Katie (Flood) did great. It’s just one race, and I’ve got bigger races to come.”Colorado won both the women’s and men’s team titles in their first Pac-12 meet.
On the women’s side, Colorado scored 50 points to 73 for runner-up Washington. Stanford was third with 75, and Oregon fourth with 89.
Another former Mission Prep standout, UCLA’s Annie Mooney was 61st in 21:40 and was the Bruins’ No. 2 runner. Former San Luis Obispo High standout Kathleen Uyttewaal was 90th for Cal in 22:36. She was Cal’s seventh runner.
MEN: Denver 171, Cal Poly 129; WOMEN: Denver 175, Cal Poly 112
Konrad Antoniuk won the 1,000-meter freestyle (9:34.39), the 500 freestyle (4:36.75) and the 200 individual medley (1:57.57), but the Mustangs men lost at home.
Christian Renfro had two wins for Cal Poly, finishing first in the 200 freestyle (1:41.3) and winning again as a member of the 200 freestyle relay along with teammates Omar Dwidar, Jesse McWhirk and Matt Jude.
Three Mustang women won two events in the loss. Lacey Buck won the 1,000 freestyle (10:11.67) and the 500 freestyle (4:59.14), Gloria Benefield won the 100 backstroke (56.88) and the 200 backstroke (2:00.68) and Angie Haven won the 100 breaststroke (1:05.58) and the 200 breaststroke (2:19.43).
UC Davis 3, Cal Poly 2
The Mustangs (10-14, 5-6 Big West) lost 19-25, 30-28, 25-18, 23-25, 15-8 in a five-set thriller on the road against the Aggies (20-6, 6-5).
Jennifer Keddy had a team-high 25 kills, and Molly Pon had 20 kills for Cal Poly. Shannon Garrett had a game-high 64 assists, and Catie Smith had 16 digs for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly 0, Northridge 0, 2 OT, tie
The Mustangs (6-7-3, 3-4-1 Big West) left Northridge (7-7-3, 3-3-2) with a scoreless tie after two overtimes.
Cal Poly goalkeeper Patrick McLain had four saves in the draw, and counterpart Michael Abalos of the Matadors had three.