After a strong finish at the Stanford Invitational in September, the UCSB men’s and women’s cross country teams are ready for Gaucho gold as Saturday, Oct. 18th brings the NCAA Pre-National Invitational in Indiana. The men finished fifth overall at the Stanford Invite while the women finished ninth due to a three-way tie with Utah, Chico State and UC Irvine.

On the women’s front, senior Danielle Domenichelli individually finished 10th with her time of 21:28. This is a great feat for Domenichelli as she started slow and continued toward a path that would have given her the 20th position. However, she overcame fatigue and managed a clutch finish in the top-10 spots. The Gauchos also saw great performances from their new recruits as freshmen Ari Selix finished 47th with a time of 22:39, Ashley Beechan came in 66th in 23:00, Catherine Murillo placed 70th at 23:03 and Serkadis Krohm finished 79th with a time of 23:08.

Although Stanford, UC Berkeley and Arkansas are nationally ranked and competed at the Stanford Invite, the Gaucho men proved their strength by finishing in the top five and beating four Big West teams in the process. Big West teams included UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and UC Davis. Junior Scott Smith led the Gaucho squad by placing ninth overall with his time of 24:37 while fellow teammate and junior Julian DeRubira placed 19th with his time of 25:04. Junior Waleed Totari also helped UCSB by placing 30th. The junior class dominated at the invite, but the sophomore runners also had amazing meets of their own. Sophomores Anthony Masci and Andrew Pilavjian finished 44th and 49th respectively. The NCAA Pre-National Invite will be a challenge, but UCSB is confident that it will prevail and execute strong performances and finish on top.