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Ritter Leads Cal Poly Cross Country to Win at UCSB Lagoon Invitational

Ritter Leads Cal Poly Cross Country to Win at UCSB Lagoon Invitational

Mustangs 2nd in 5k, Led by Fisk

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — For a second meet in a row to open the cross country season, Cal Poly sophomore Jake Ritter paced the Mustangs to a team win — this time at UC Santa Barbara's Lagoon Invitational. Cal Poly compiled a men's team score of 33 on Saturday to take the tri-meet victory, topping the host Gauchos (42 points) and fellow Big West Conference attendant Cal State Fullerton (63 points).

Ritter clocked an 8k time of 25:02.05, good for third place individually. A Granite Bay High grad from Citrus Heights just outside of Sacramento, Ritter also placed a team-best fourth at CSF's Covert Classic earlier in the month, as Cal Poly also won that 14-school meet.

Nick Randazzo earned medalist honors on his home course in 24:53.43, edging out Gaucho teammate Yousef Baddour by 7.1 seconds.

Keying Cal Poly to the team win were four additional Mustangs scoring within the top 10, as Peter Cotsirilos (at 25:11.57), Justin Robison (25:17.38), Benjamin Holland (25:19.54) and Logan Marshall (25:20.39) demonstrated the squad's depth by crossing the finish line in succession, 6-7-8-9.

Following for the defending conference champions were Ethan Duffy (who took 11th place at 25:30.11), Sean McDermott (12th, in 25:31.10) & Cameron Botten (13th; 25:33.52). Up next were Alex Merder, taking 18th place via a time of 25:44.54; Evan Jameson in 25th at 26:14.01; and Luis Armendariz in 44th at 27:20.92.

Cal Poly took second place in the ensuing women's 5k, tallying 43 points. Fullerton won with a score of 34, while UCSB came in third at 48. Abbey Fisk led the Mustangs, as the sophomore from Davis took fifth place with a performance of 17:17.56.

Katie Izzo and Maddie McDonald were close behind for Cal Poly, earning sixth & seventh place, respectively, in 17:19.96 and 17:21.44.

A duo of Gauchos also won the top two spots at home in the 5k, as Katie Camarena bested Astrid Rosvall by just eight-tenths of a second: 17:06.91 to 17:07.71.

Completing Cal Poly's scoring were Delaney Fitzsimmons in 11th place running a 17:41.09; Annie Meeder, who came in 14th, at 17:45.88; Hannah Hull, tallying 17th at 17:57.34; and Rachel Bordes in 19th at 18:00.17.

Chase Worthen added a 24th-place performance of 18:14.73, ahead of true freshman Lexi Watkins in 26th (18:21.01) & Melodie Leroudier (27th; 18:23.18). Redshirt freshman Mikaela Romanini, an 800m specialist during track & field season, also made her intercollegiate cross country debut on a scoring basis, taking 30th overall, in 18:42.48.

Several Mustangs also competed at the meet on an unattached basis. Xian Shively came in 14th place altogether in the 8k, recording a 25:34.52. He was trailed by four more true-freshmen teammates: Will Fallini-Haas in 16th (25:40.39); Brett Hickman 20th (25:58.28); Anthony Benitez 24th (26:11.84) and Hayden Hansen 35th (26:53.88). Sydnie Rivas then paced the true freshmen racing in the 5k, clocking a 16th-place 17:55.07 — ahead of Presley Roldan (32nd via 18:59.97) and Liz Hogan (36th; 19:29.86).

Cal Poly will now train for the Stanford Invitational, set for Saturday, Sept. 29. The collegiate sections of the meet get underway with the 6k scheduled for 9:50 a.m., before the 8k at 10:30, each at Stanford Golf Course.

Photo © Mike Nesbit