October 4, 2013

The UC Riverside cross-country team traveled north to the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento to take part in the Inter-Regional Jamboree, where 290 athletes across the West Coast were set to compete.

UCR’s women’s squad put on an impressive showing at the meet, coming in at a respectable eighth place out of 19 schools.

Highlander Raquel Hefflin put on one of the most impressive showings of the day in the 5-kilometer run. Hefflin’s 17:32 time in the event earned her a top 20 finish. Among other Highlanders competing were Alisha Brown (17:35) and Jzsanette Lindstrom (17:42), who earned finishes of 32nd and 39th place, respectively. The trio of Hefflin, Brown and Lindstrom also set personal bests with their times.

Brooke McCandless earned a 63rd-place finish with a time of 17:58. Brianna Simmons (18:23), Valerie Mares (19:01) and Maryann Holiday (19:19) rounded out the Highlander squad for the day and finished in 88th, 121st and 133rd respectively.

When the scores were tallied, UCLA came out on top with 77 total points, with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo coming in as the runner-up by an ever-so-slight margin of one point. UC Berkeley’s Kelsey Santisteban earned a first-place finish in the event with her impressive time of 16:23.

On the men’s side, UCR earned an 11th-place finish out of 14 competing schools, with four of its athletes competing in the event.

Ben Heck turned in the Highlanders’ best performance at the event, with his time of 24:52 earning him a 42nd-place finish. Heck was trailed by Michael Gauger, clocking in at 25:05 and finishing in 58th place. Highlander Cody Jordan claimed the next spot at 59th, finishing the race just three seconds after Gauger.

Other Highlanders competing in the event consisted of Cesar Solis, coming in 83rd place with a 25:39 time and Miguel Vasquez, finishing in 86th with a 25:42 time. Finally, Alex Castellon and Aaron Nguyen finished in 105th and 115th, respectively.

Winning the race was Rajpaul Pannu of Saint Mary’s College of California, who finished the course in 23:28. Pannu’s team was only able to earn a 10th-place finish though, as UCLA, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara rounded out the competition’s top three performers.

The Highlanders will stay home for their next event, the Highlander Invitational, which is set to take place at the Agricultural Operations Course on Oct. 19.