The UC Davis cross country teams have had a couple weeks of rest after an intense fall season, but will need all the energy they can get at this year’s Big West Championships.
The meet will take place on Saturday in Riverside for the fifth year in a row, with both the men and the women competing at the UC Riverside Ags/Ops Course.
The Aggie women took the championship last year, averaging a 20:59 through their top five runners.
Current junior Sarah Sumpter placed second with a 20:33.7 time and is the top returner from last year’s field.
Sumpter was followed by juniors Alycia Cridebring in eighth place and Shannon Harcus, who placed 28th.
Sumpter and Cridebring have been consistently pacing the Aggies and will almost definitely be some of the top performers in the field.
With a 12th-place finish at the Pre-Nationals meet in Louisville, Ky. Sumpter secured her place as one of the elite runners in the nation and will be a strong force for UC Davis at the Big West Championships.
UC Davis is the sixth-ranked team in the west region and even received votes for the national rankings after their 10th-place finish at the NCAA Pre-Nationals.
The UC Davis men will be competing with a lot of first-timers at the Big West meet. The Aggie men placed sixth last year at the meet, with Jon Peterson (class of 2012) placing fifth as an individual.
Current junior Nathan Strum was the highest finisher for UC Davis that is returning this year. The San Jose, Calif. native finished 36th overall.
The Aggies have been led by sophomore Trevor Halsted at most of the meets this year, and are looking to make a push to surprise the conference with their young roster.
The women’s 6K run will start off the day and the men will race afterwards.
— Matthew Yuen