The Gaucho women’s cross country team had a disappointing end to its year, finishing 15th overall at the NCAA Regional Championships over the weekend in Palo Alto.
UCSB had a total of 406 points, considerably more than Stanford, which finished in first place with 23 points, UCLA that finished in fifth with 196 points, and Long Beach that finished 10th, logging 311 points. After a promising second-place finish at the Big West championships only two weeks ago, Head Coach Pete Dolan said he was somewhat disappointed with the team’s results.
“It was disappointing not to improve on our conference performance,” Dolan told ucsbgauchos.com. “I thought we had a better chance at beating some opponents, even with the attrition our lineup has incurred.”
Senior Seanna Martin placed highest of the Gauchos, coming in at 39th with a time of 21:32.7 for the 6-kilometer run. Dolan said he was hopeful she would finish a bit higher up, but remained satisfied with her performance.
“Martin looked great through 3k,” Dolan told ucsbgauchos.com. “She didn’t quite end with the punctuating finish I was hoping for, but it was still a satisfying race to see her run.”
Sophomore Bethany Nickless came in second for the Gauchos, placing 63rd in 21.23.5. Freshmen Danielle Domenichelli and Liza Hitchner both started off slow but managed to pull off finishes at 90th in 22:36.1 and 92nd in 22:38.7, respectively. Another senior, Leslie Alexander, placed 122nd in 23:09.4.
The team is currently taking time off for a well-deserved break before it begins its training for the upcoming track season. Members of the team said they also hope that next year’s 2006 team will include four uninjured front-women who did not run with the Gauchos the full season: senior Lauren Christman – undefeated by Big West Athletes in 2004, senior Lindsay Christman – 2nd in the Big West only to Lauren Christman in 2004, junior Megan Lewis – Big West 10 Kilometer Champ 2005, and senior Stephanie Rothstein – conference champ in 2003.