Cross Country Preview

Event: Big West Conference Championship

Where: Riverside, Calif.

When: Saturday, all day

Who to watch: Senior Axel Stanovsky will be looking to make a splash in his final trip to the Big West Conference Championship.

The Everett, Wash. native finished 21st at last year’s meet and posted the second best time by an Aggie male at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational Oct. 16.

Did you know? Although assistant coach Kim Conley is no longer eligible to compete at the collegiate level, she has continued to focus on her athletic pursuits.

Conley, who graduated from UC Davis in 2008, will run the 5,000-meter race today at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

She also finished third in the USA Women’s 10K Championships Oct. 10.

Preview: The season is beginning to wind down and that means UC Davis senior Jonathan Peterson is coming into form.

While coach Drew Wartenberg has been encouraging Peterson to race well throughout the season, the goal from the start of the year has been for the Clovis, Calif. native to peak during the postseason.

With that strategy in mind, this week could be the week Peterson begins to hit his stride.

It won’t be easy, however.

After taking first at the Big West Championships last year, Peterson enters this year’s event with a target on his back.

“Saturday will be an excellent test for him,” Wartenberg said. “It’s very difficult to go into a meet like this as a defending titlist.”

On the women’s side the Aggies will be looking for a team effort on Saturday.

Senior Krista Drechsler and sophomore Alycia Cridebring both posted strong finishes at the Big West Championship last season, and with junior Sarah Sumpter back in the squad to defend her 2009 conference title, the Aggies field a very formidable trio.

“We’ve got a one-two-three punch up front,” Wartenberg said. “We love having this kind of team depth and they’re very excited to contend for a team title.”

While success this weekend is something the Aggies hope for, however, Wartenberg believes it is key for the team to remember that the Big West Championships are not the end of the season.

“This is where we take our first crack at a championship meet,” he said, “but it’s a balancing act. We need to put our best foot forward without going so hard that we focus only on this meet.”

– Trevor Cramer

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