Wildcats secure second and place at UCR Invitational


Kyle Medina takes control of first place in a race at Chico State – Courtesy of Gary Towne

The Chico State cross country team competed in their first invitational at UC Riverside Sept. 16. The Wildcats went against several other Division I programs; such as Alabama, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, Sacramento State, and Utah Valley State.

The men’s team secured second place overall in the eight-kilometer race, with a team time of 2:02:39 and a runner average of 24:31. The women’s team secured 12th place in their 6K race, with a team time of 1:47:36 and a runner average of 21:31.

“I thought the team did what we were capable of,” said National Athlete of the Week award recipient, Kyle Medina.

The women’s team took 12th place behind 10 division one’s and Cal State San Marcos. According to Towne, placing behind Cal State San Marcos should “light a fire” under the women’s team, being that Cal State San Marcos is a fellow CCAA school.

“We weren’t as pleased with the women’s run,” said head coach Gary Towne. “I feel we’re capable of more, but it wasn’t a bad start.”

Southern Utah University won the eight-kilometer Invitational, with Chico State coming behind them in a close second.

On the men’s side, Medina tackled UC Riverside’s eight-kilometer Agricultural Course in 23:58.3. No division two runner has finished that course as fast as Medina did Saturday. Medina has the 26th fastest time ever recorded on the course. Monday, Medina was awarded the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association National Division II Athlete of the Week.

“It is very uplifting to know that the work and effort we put in is noticed on the national level,” said Medina. “There are plenty of great athletes all around the country, and I am very proud to be chosen as the best of them for the weekend.”

Next up for the Wildcats is the Capital Cross Challenge, Sept. 30 in Sacramento at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.

Terren Pouncy can be reached at [email protected] or @TP_orionsports on Twitter.