75.7 F

Davis, California

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Men’s cross country preview

Event: NCAA Western Regional Championships

Where: Stanford Golf Course – Palo Alto, Calif.

When: Tomorrow at noon

Who to watch: Senior captain K.C. Cody earned the program’s first-ever Big West Conference honor by finishing eighth at the Big West Championships on Nov. 1 – and he was far from pleased.

“People beat me that I’ve beaten before this season,” said Cody, “so it’s clear that I didn’t perform at the level I’m capable of.”

Cody is shooting for much bigger things at Stanford, where the added distance – the Western Regional is a 10k whereas the conference championships was an 8k – can only be beneficial to the runner who routinely logged upwards of 100 miles per week at altitude this summer.

“I’m confident that in a longer race,” Cody said. “I’ll be able to use my aerobic strength to my advantage and put the hurt on people in the last two miles.”

Did you know? At the Big West Championships, there was only one nationally ranked team, No. 11 Cal Poly. This Saturday, UC Davis will square off against seven nationally ranked teams, including No. 1 and defending national champion Oregon, No. 3 Stanford and No. 4 Portland.

In addition, the Western Regionals will feature every Division I team from seven states – California, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington – as it lays claim to being the undisputed toughest regional of the nine meets held around the country.

Preview: The Aggies are ranked No. 10 going into the Regional Championships, but are hoping for more.

“We’d love to move up any number of spots from there and get as deep into the top 10 as we can,” said head coach Drew Wartenburg. “Our first goal is to run our best team race, and also improve on last year’s [11th-place] finish.”

This meet serves as the qualifier for the NCAA Championships meet. The top two teams, as well as the top four individuals not on an advancing team, automatically qualify.

In addition, there are 13 at-large team spots that are awarded based on a seasonal scoring system.

Though advancing to Nationals is unlikely, the possibility still remains.

“It all depends on which teams go and how well some key individuals run,” said Cody. “My only real task is to finish in the top 25, preferably in the top 20, and ignore everything else going on around me.”


Alex Wolf-Root


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