Oxy Cross Country Competes at UC Riverside

Oxy Cross Country Competes at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE -- The Occidental men's and women's cross country teams competed against more than 25 programs and several hundred runners, ranging from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division I competition at the UC Riverside on Saturday morning. 

It was Oxy's second meet of the season and its last before SCIAC Multi Dual competition begins on Oct. 1.

The Oxy men were 12th in the 8k and the Oxy women placed 13th in the 5k in fields that included the likes of Arkansas, Utah Valley and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. 

"It was a very competitive field with a lot of good athletes,"  Oxy head coach Rob Bartlett said. "It was exciting to compete against some division I powerhouses right next to SCIAC rivals."

Men's Recap

Keenan Leary (25:54.96 - 77th overall) and Austin Sankaran (25:59.48 - 84th overall) were the first two guys for the Oxy men, both finishing with cross country personal bests. 

Brody Barkan was Oxy's No. 3, continuing his improvement in the longest race of his life. Barkan is competing in his first cross country season ever after spending most of his career as a middle distance track and field athlete.

"He's like a duck to water," Bartlett said. "It's like he was born to do it."

The Tigers had four first years perform well in just their second collegiate race. Thomas Robertsonand Ian McConnell finished fifth and sixth for the Tigers, their highest finish so far in their young careers.

Women's Recap

With a handful of returners not in top form, first year Fiona Pedrick (19:12.04 - 67th) performed well to take the No. 1 spot and first year Sabrina Thurber (19:37.43 - 97th) jumped up to No. 4. Much like Oxy's first year guys who ran well,  Pedrick and Thurber looked even better than their first time out.

"They going to have very strong Oxy careers and today was a very nice performance in what was a very large competitive college field," Bartlett said. 

Aria Blumm (19:21.39 79th) and Eva Townsend (19:23.45 - 84th), Oxy's two best returners so far this season, crossed the line second and third for Oxy.

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