Fresno State’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams ended UC Irvine’s reign as Big West Conference champions Saturday at UC Santa Barbara.
Fresno State won the men’s competition with 33 points to stop the Anteaters, who had won 3 consecutive conference titles. Irvine finished second with 44 points and Cal State Long Beach third with 71 points.
In the women’s race, Fresno State ended Irvine’s 5-year streak by placing first with 29 points. Irvine came in second with 38 points and San Diego State third with 92 points.
Ernie Freer of Fresno State won the men’s individual title, running 31 minutes 36.2 seconds over the 10,000-meter course. Dave Schumacher of Cal State Long Beach was second in 31.41.0.
Pete Vicencio was Irvine’s top runner, finishing third in 31:45.4. Aaron Mascorro, who was seventh in 32:02.4, and Scott LaForce, eighth in 32:07.3, were the other Irvine runners in the top 10. Fresno State had 4 runners among the top 10.
“I am not upset at all,” said Vince O’Boyle, UC Irvine coach. “I cannot find fault with our kids’ efforts today. Fresno State was just a very good team in both races today. The (Irvine) women ran their best race of the year.”
Brigid Stirling of Irvine won the women’s individual title by running 16:48.3 over a 5,000-meter course.
“It was really enjoyable,” said Stirling, whose time was a conference and course record. “I liked the course because it is fast and has a lot of turns. It is true cross-country.”
Stirling was named the women’s athlete of the year.