Cross Country Shows Improvement at 38th Annual UCR Invitational

gohighlanders.com

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—41 schools, 75 teams and a little under 900 student athletes may have competed in the 38th annual UCR Invitational on Saturday at the Ag/Ops Course, but the UC Riverside Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams had one big advantage. It was their home course, and it showed.Both teams showed noticeable improvement from the first meet of the season at the Mark Covert Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 1. The women’s team finished 11th out of 21 teams with 275 points in the 6k and the men finished eighth out of 22 teams with 262 points in the 8k.Just like the first race of the season, the women’s team was led by true freshman Vanessa Gracian, who finished 37th overall with a time of 21:38. Sophomore Kiley Atwood ran one of the best races of her UCR career, finishing with a time of 22:08.”At Fullerton, Vanessa was out a little too fast,” cross country coach Rob Hansen said. “Today she paced herself and was able to beat a lot of student athletes that beat her in that first race. She is going to be somebody special for our program.”The men’s team was led by true freshman Antonio Carbajal, who finished 26th overall with a time of 25:00.”Finishing with that time in his first home course race is remarkable,” Hansen said. “He’s patient and has a nose for the finish line.”One of the things Hansen stressed after the first meet for both teams was running more in a pack.”I think the women did a good job of executing that today. We had a lot more pack running, which is something we struggled with at Fullerton,” Hansen said. “We are still finding our way, but today was a nice improvement.”
 
2018 UCR Invitational
Women’s Results
Place
Student-Athlete
Time
37
Vanessa Gracian
21:38
59
Kiley Atwood
22:08
68
Leslie Rivera
22:16
71
Haley Cabrera
22:18
81
Samantha Poliakon
22:26
89
Alison Soto
22:33
104
Harriet …

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