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Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Historic run for Aggies at Big West Championship

Despite another exceptional showing at the Big West cross country championships, the Aggies still feel like they can accomplish more.

The women finished second overall while the men finished third overall.

“The races were a little bittersweet,” said Coach Drew Wartenburg. “You can’t be disappointed with our finishes, but it felt like we left some unfinished business.”

The Aggies finish this year was almost identical to last year, with the men finishing second while the women finished third.

“This team is title hungry and they really wanted to walk away with one,” said Wartenburg.

Sophomore Sarah Sumpter claimed UC Davis’ first ever Division I individual title, posting a time of 20:34 to lead the field. Sophomore Abbey Gallaher finished seventh with a time of 21:00. The ladies finished second overall behind UC Santa Barbara.

“Sarah winning was a huge breakthrough both for her and for the program,” Wartenburg said.

Sophomore Jonathan Peterson led the men, finishing seventh overall with a time of 24:09. Junior Jonathan Sees finished 12th with a time of 24:33 and junior Russ Pfaff finished 19th, recording a time of 24:50.

The men finished third overall behind Cal Poly, who recorded its seventh straight men’s Big West title.

Wartenburg said that in order to win a title everybody has to be on top of their game.

“We had some holes throughout the race,” Wartenburg said. “We needed some people to finish higher and this just shows how every runner counts.”

The Aggies hope to improve before the NCAA West Region Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Nov. 14.

Wartenburg said that the team mainly needs to improve on running as a group and preventing holes from opening up in the pack.

Despite some of their flaws, Wartenburg still felt like his team had a good showing.

“The Big West [Championships] are very competitive,” Wartenburg said. “We had a good showing and we can only improve before next year.”

JASON ALPERT can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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