LOUISVILLE, Colo. – Junior Kelsey Santisteban placed third overall to lead California to a ninth-place finish as a team in the women’s race at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships Saturday morning, held at Coal Creek Golf Course. The men, paced by senior J.P. Slater, also placed ninth in the conference championship meet.
A broadcast of the meet will air on the Pac-12 Networks on Monday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 (PT).
"Kelsey was our standout today in a close battle for individual honors," Director of Track & Field / Head Cross Country Coach Tony Sandoval. " She let a group of seven get away from her at a mile to go but passed all but two of them with a furious kick the last 200 meters to finish third. Overall, we had difficulty with the altitude and pace changes that occurred in both races. J.P. Slater and Leland Later for the men and Mariel Mendoza for the women improved theirs positions from last year."
Top-ranked Arizona captured the women’s team title with 69 points, ahead of No. 16 Colorado (75). The Bears placed ninth with a team total of 213 points.
Santisteban, who finished ninth in last season’s conference championship race, completed the 6,000-meter course in 21:18, just three seconds back of second-place Elvin Kibet (21:15) of Arizona. Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe won the individual league title with a time of 21:04.
Sophomore Mariel Mendoza placed 38th with a time of 22:54, while Xochitle Navarrete finished in a time of 23:55 to place 51st overall. Freshman Molly Babcock placed 62nd with a time of 23:46. Junior Sydney Gray completed the course in 24:12 to place 74th, and freshman Marissa Scott recorded a time of 25:14 to finish 91st.
On the men’s side, top-ranked Colorado captured its third-straight team title with 28 points, followed by No. 4 Oregon (54) and No. 13 Stanford (79). The Bears totaled 220 points to place ninth.
Slater and sophomore Leland Later finished within a second of each other, with Slater placing 28th overall with a time of 25:58 and Later finishing in 25:59 to place 29th in the 8,000-meter race. Junior Jordan Locklear completed the course in 26:50 to place 55th, while sophomore Thomas Joyce finished in 27:11 to place 60th overall. Freshmen Kristian Martinez (69th, 27:55) and Jeff Schaefer (74th, 28:24) rounded out the Golden Bear contingent.
Cal will next compete in the NCAA West Regionals in Sacramento, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 15. A group of Bears will race at the Doc Adams Invitational in Davis, Calif. next Saturday, Nov. 9.