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Cal Poly Wins Women's Big West Championship, Places 2nd on Men's Side

Cal Poly Wins Women's Big West Championship, Places 2nd on Men's Side

Mustang Women Post Largest Margin of Victory in 14 Years

Men Also Better Score (by 13 Points) from 2014

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's cross country team won the Big West title at the conference championship meet hosted by UC Riverside on Saturday, while the Mustang men finished in second place.

To start the morning on the Ag/Ops Course, true freshman Peyton Bilo took second place in the 6K, with a time of 20 minutes, 36.87 seconds.

Next up for the Mustangs was senior Sara Van Dyke, taking seventh in 20:59.27.

Their teammates then swept spots 9 through 11, as depth proved key to compiling the low score of 39, edging UC Santa Barbara's 59 while dethroning third-place UC Davis (69).

The 20-point margin of victory was the Mustangs' largest at the postseason event since topping UC Irvine by 28 (37-65) in 2001.

This was the fifth Big West crown for Cal Poly's women since 2000, and their 18th overall conference banner going back to 1981. Combined between the men and women, it's the 18th Big West championship, and the 41st conference cross country crown all-time.

"To strive for consistency in sports is what you want to do," Mustang head coach Mark Conover said. "We always try to put ourselves in contention for a title, but it's sports. There are tough runners in this conference, so to return to a championship is a testament to the old and new. It's a mix of some veterans and some very talented freshmen. It's a total team effort. We have a lot of depth."

"Everybody wants to step up for each other," Conover added of the entire program. "It was a great day."

Another true freshman, Katie Izzo, came in ninth place at 20:59.84, followed in 10th and 11th by juniors Ashley Windsor (21:00.87) and Mary Jo Wright (21:07.33). Also scoring for the Mustangs were senior Erika Veidis (clocking a 15th-place time of 21:16.63) and sophomore Sydney Szabo (17th, 21:19.69), while freshman Hannah Hull (23rd, 21:37.49) and junior Mary Hillis (38th, 22:12) also competed.

Meanwhile, running on her home course, Highlander sophomore Faith Makau won individually at 20:27.50. Makau was seventh-tenths of a second behind Bilo at the 2-mile mark before taking the lead down the stretch.

Afterward in the men's 8K, UCSB senior Bryan Guijarro (winning medalist honors back-to-back, at 24:01.94) paced the Gauchos to the title with 31 points — just in front of the Mustangs' 36 (a 71-point gap ahead of the remainder of the field and 13 lower than the 2014 total).

Cal Poly junior Nick Woolf came in a team-best fourth place, at 24:17.04.

Scoring just behind him for the Mustangs were redshirt freshmen Garrett Migliozzi (in sixth at 24:25.50) and Devon Grove (seventh, 24:27.34), junior Swarnjit Boyal (eighth, 24:28.27) and senior Luis Morales (11th, 24:35.69).

Also for Cal Poly, redshirt freshman Peter Cotsirilos finished 18th in 24:59.47, followed by junior David Galvez in 23rd (at 25:14.60) and senior Al Gamez Jr. in 32nd (25:35.16).

Cal Poly will now train for the West Region Championships, hosted by Washington at Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle on Nov. 13.