Sept. 19, 2012
BERKELEY - The California men's and women's cross country teams travel to Virginia to compete in the Panorama Farms Invitational on Saturday in Earlysville, Va. as the Bears look to represent the West region in one of the nation's premiere events. The women will kick off the event with a 6,000-meter race at 7:00 a.m. (PT) and the men will follow with an 8,000-meter race set for 7:30 a.m.
The Golden Bears will compete against some of the top teams in the nation in Saturday's event. The men will race against Oklahoma (fourth nationally), Michigan (21st nationally), Arkansas (22nd nationally), Duke, Kentucky, Virginia, VCU, Howard and Norfolk State, while the women will face Virginia (15th nationally), Wisconsin, Kentucky, VCU, Howard, Liberty and Norfolk State.
Cal will be making its first trip to Virginia in more than 15 years. The men come into Saturday's meet fifth in the West regional rankings, while the women are ranked ninth in the region.
The Golden Bears last competed on Sept 7 as the women tied for first place and the men placed third at the Hornet Jamboree in Sacramento, Calif.
Sophomore Christine Bowlus and freshman Ashlyn Dadkhah have raced in each of the first two competitions of the fall for the Bears. Bowlus led Cal with a fourth-place finish in Sacramento with a 5000-meter time of 17:49, and placed 12th overall in the season-opening USF Invitational with a time of 18:10. Dadkhah finished sixth in Sacramento with a time of 17:53 and placed 12th in the USF Invitational with a time of 18:10. The duo is expected to be joined by sophomore Kelsey Santisteban, who led Cal in the USF Invitational with a second-place finish in a time of 17:09, in Saturday's meet.
On the men's side, senior Renaud Poizat is the lone Golden Bear to compete in each of the season's first two meets. He led Cal with a second-place finish in the four-mile race in Sacramento in 19:46 to place second overall, and recorded a time of 25:18 to place ninth in the 8000-meter USF Invitational.
Junior transfer Agustin Alva led Cal in the season opener, placing fifth overall with a time of 24.52, while junior J.P. Slater placed sixth (24:53) and senior Simon Schmidt was seventh (25:04) in the 800-meter race. The three are expected to compete for the Golden Bears in Saturday's meet in Virginia.
Saturday's race is the third of eight competitions the men's and women's cross country teams will compete in this fall prior to the NCAA West Regionals in Seattle, Wash. on Nov. 10. The Bears will return to the Bay Area next weekend where they will compete in the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 29 at 10:50 a.m. (PT).