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Cross Country to Open Season at UCSB Lagoon Open

Cross Country to Open Season at UCSB Lagoon Open

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The men's and women's cross country teams will open the 2013 season at the UC Santa Barbara Lagoon Open on Saturday with the women's 5k race slated to start at 10:30 am followed by the men's 8k at 11 am.

Expected to compete for head coach Mark Conover on the women's side will be sophomore Laura Hollander. The All-American set a course record at the Lagoon Open last season while competing as a true freshman. She went on to dominate the season in winning the Big West Conference Championship and athlete of the year. She concluded the season finishing ninth at the NCAA Championships, earning All-American status.

Sophomore Rachel Bush competed in five events last season and helped lead the team to its third Big West Conference Championship while Mary Jo Write, a redshirt freshman, claimed second in the steeplechase at the Big West Conference Track and Field Championships.

Senior Erika Schaeffer competed in only one event during the 2012 cross country season, but at the BWC track and field championships she finished third in the steeple chase and 13th in the 5000 meter.

On the men's side, senior Chris Frias returns to defend his Big West Conference individual title in leading the men's team to its 12th overall BWC championship. He is coming off a strong track season where he won both the 10000m and 5000m at the BWC championships.

Senior Sean Davidson returns after a ninth place finish at last season's conference championship. Last season he finished third at the Lagoon Open with a time of 25:00 while junior Mitch Moriarty returns after a third place finish at the conference championship last season. He posted a season-best during the track season of 14:47.21 in the 5000m at the San Francisco Distance Carnival.

Redshirt freshman Nick Woolf enters the cross country season after a solid track season where he won the steeplechase at the conference championships and placed ninth in the 5000m.

Following the dual meet with UCSB, Cal Poly will return to the course on Sept. 14 when the team travels to the Fresno State Invitational. The Mustangs will compete at the NCAA West Preview in Sacramento in preparation for the regional meet on Oct. 4 followed by the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 28.

The Cal Poly Invitational will be held on Sept. 19 as a preview for the Big West Conference Championships to be hosted by the Mustangs on Nov. 2.

The Mustangs will also make the trip to the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, IN on Oct. 19 to prep for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23.