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Cal Poly to Compete at Big West Championships on Saturday in Brea

Cal Poly to Compete at Big West Championships on Saturday in Brea

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Looking to add to its storied history of conference championship performances, the Cal Poly cross country program heads to the 2018 Big West Championships this week in Brea.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park is set to host the meet Saturday morning, beginning with the Men's 8k at 8:45 a.m. before the Women's 6k at 9:30 a.m.

Five student-athletes from each school count toward scoring, while the next two individuals among teams' nine entrants displace opposing finishers.

This is the second time this season a majority of the conference, including both Mustang squads, will compete on the Orange County course. The Big West also converged on Carbon Canyon back on Sept. 1, opening the season becoming acquainted with the terrain at Cal State Fullerton's Mark Covert Classic.

Below are the lineups entered to represent Cal Poly on Saturday:

Cameron Botten, RFr.
Peter Cotsirilos, Sr.
Mikey Giguere, Sr.
Benjamin Holland, RFr.
Evan Jameson, Jr.
Logan Marshall, Sr.
Sean McDermott, Sr.
Alex Merder, Jr.
Jake Ritter, So.

Peyton Bilo, Jr.
Sierra Brill, So.
Miranda Daschian, Jr.
Abbey Fisk, So.
Delaney Fitzsimmons, Jr.
Katie Izzo, Jr.
Melodie Leroudier, So.
Maddie McDonald, Sr.
Annie Meeder, So.

The Mustang men's squad is on a quest for a third straight team trophy.

On the men's side, this is the 50th Big West Championship, going back to the conference's original name, the Pacific Coast Athletic Association. The conference has previously seen seven men's three-peats (or more in consecutive fashion) in its almost-half-century history, a trio of which (1998-2000, 2003-09 and 2011-13) belong to Cal Poly. The other three-peats were by Long Beach State (1969-72), UC Irvine (1985-87 & '89-91) and Utah State (1992-94).

Ritter led Cal Poly at each of the first three meets of the season (the Covert Classic, UC Santa Barbara's Lagoon Open and the Stanford Invitational), before Jameson and Botten both posted team-high finishes two weeks ago at the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals and Santa Clara Invite, respectively.

This is the fourth career Big West Championship appearance for Cotsirilos, who was third at the 2017 finals in Riverside. Giguere (fourth a year ago), McDermott (13th), Merder (15th) and Jameson (25th) also helped win last season's championship, as the Mustangs' 29-point score topped UCSB's 55. Giguere also earned a ring in 2016 when the Mustangs won in Hawai'i.

Cal Poly's women's team — which won back-to-back titles in 2015 & 2016 — seeks to regain the trophy after being narrowly edged by UCSB last fall, 45-47, tied as the closest outcome in the meet's 35-year history.

Daschian, the runner-up at last year's Big West Championships, earned conference Athlete of the Week accolades on Sept. 4 and Oct. 2 earlier this fall after leading Cal Poly at both the Covert Classic and Stanford. In-between, Fisk paced the squad at UCSB before Izzo and Fitzsimmons registered the Mustangs' top times in Wisconsin and at SCU.

Brill, awarded Big West Freshman of the Year after a sixth-place finish in 2017, joined Daschian at last year's championships, as did McDonald (13th a season ago), Fisk (17th) and Meeder (21st).

Meanwhile Bilo, an All-American as a sophomore in 2016 after winning the individual conference crown, and Izzo, are both back on the course heading into this postseason after injury-redshirt years. Both Bilo and Izzo also won championship rings in 2015.

Both individual medalists from a year ago, UC Davis' Thomas Madden and UCSB's Jenna Hinkle, have since graduated.

On the men's side, the Big West saw two multi-time Athlete of the Week honorees this fall: UCSB sophomore Nick Randazzo and CSUN senior Michael Merchan, each of whom won two awards apiece.

In addition to Daschian, Fullerton junior Samantha Huerta, UCD redshirt freshman Eva Goodisson and UCSB junior Katie Camarena also enter the meet having been selected as Athletes of the Week in 2018.

Parking at Carbon Canyon is $5. Live timing will be available on Oct. 27 through the Finished Results app.

All-time between men and women, Cal Poly has collected 49 team conference championships in cross country (21 of which have come in the Big West), as well as 36 individual titles (13 in the Big West).

2018 Mustang Times

Live Timing App


Course Maps

Photos Courtesy of Michael Nesbit / Malcolm Slaney