If good things come in threes, then it seems the UC Davis women’s cross country team is due for some more success soon. Their victory this past weekend at the Big West Cross Country Championships, hosted by UC Riverside at the Ag/Ops course, marks the second Big West championship title claimed by UC Davis.
UC Davis came out strong on Nov. 1, looking to reclaim the title from Cal Poly, who took home the win the past two consecutive years. Six Aggie runners finished in the top 13 places with just a 48-second gap between the first and fifth runners.
Junior Christine Hoffman led the Aggies with a time of 20:22:07 for the 6-kilometer course. This performance was considered “an obvious highlight” by coach Devin Elizondo. Sophomore Hannah Kirkegaard, senior Raquel Lambdin and sophomore Clara MacLeod followed Hoffman’s lead to bring home sixth, seventh and ninth place for the team.
Coach Elizondo commended Lambdin on achieving her “first top-10 finish at a cross-country championship” and also on leading the team to a victory as team captain. Lambdin was the only senior representing the Aggies at the championship.
Besides the outstanding performance from the top four runners, the depth of the UC Davis team aided them in their win.
“Having Clara [MacLeod] find an all-conference spot is a testament to the depth and talent in this team. And [junior] Erika Barr did a great job pulling her teammates along in the middle of the race to set us up for putting six women in the top 13,” said coach Elizondo after the race
Beyond the top-four finishers, Barr (12th), sophomore Riana Goins (13th), and sophomore Olivia Goins (35th) all placed highly for the Aggies.
UC Davis’ final score of 36 points, a new school-best, drastically took the lead, leaving the remaining top five rankings to Cal Poly (66), UCSB (86), UC Riverside (95) and Cal State Fullerton (149).
Coach Elizondo felt that the team was able to bring forth such an outstanding performance by learning from the year’s lessons and “getting out strong, holding positions and closing out late.” He praised the athletes’ commitment, noting that, coaching aside, it was their dedicated training that brought them success at the championships.
The Aggies will host the upcoming Doc Adams Open on Nov. 8, before the NCAA West Regional on Nov. 14.