CROSS COUNTRY COMPETES FOR BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SATURDAY
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State men's and women's cross country teams begin their postseason on Saturday, as they head to Cheney, Wash., for the 2010 Big Sky Conference Championships.
The meet, which will take place at the Fairways Golf Course, will feature an 8K race for the men and a 5K race for the women. The men's race begins at 10 a.m. with the women getting under way at 11 a.m.
The course for this season's race will take the runners over 14 of the 18 holes at the golf course and keep the participants mostly on grass with some parts covering dirt cart paths.
The Hornets welcome the opportunity to compete at a lower altitude and the weather forcast should bring similar conditions to which the team has been training. Temperatures in Cheney for Saturday are predicted to be in the high 50s with a chance of rain.
Last season, the Sacramento State women placed fourth while the men were sixth. That meet was hosted by Northern Colorado and the race was altered by a heavy snow fall which punished the Rocky Mountains.
Renisha Robinson, who finished ninth in 2009 to earn all-Big Sky accolades, returns to help guide the Hornets. The senior will be joined by returners Erin Lewis and Lea Wallace who also contributed to the team score.
Lora Marchini, who had the second-best time on the team at the Santa Clara Invitational, will also provide some veteran leadership. The team will also have the services of a talented corps of young runners highlighted by sophomore Rachel Mitchell and freshmen Lauren Mugnaini, Breanna Lewis and Veronica Stinnett.
Chris Romo is the leading returner for the men's team. Romo was third for Sacramento State in 2009 but has led the team in several races this year. Sophomores Nathanel Litwiller and Daniel Mitchell will also be back in the lineup after competing for the Big Sky title a year ago.
In the team's most recent meet at Santa Clara, Sacramento State was paced by its youngest members as the top five times on the team belonged to freshmen or sophomores. Freshman Reesey Byers ran 24:39.8 for the fastest time on the squad while Litwiller, Zach Kaylor, Cole Younger and Mitchell completed the team scorers.
Northern Arizona is the three-time defending conference champion for both the men and women.
Following the Big Sky Championships, the Hornets will next compete at the NCAA West Regional in Eugene, Ore., on Nov. 6.