The UC Riverside men’s cross country team returned to action on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by the University of Oregon at Springfield Country Club. Washington, Southern Utah, Idaho, Sacramento State, Seattle, Gonzaga, Nevada, BYU, Massachusetts and the Highlanders participated in the event. Last year in this event the men’s team placed in fifth.

The UC Riverside men’s cross country team placed ninth out of 10 teams at this year’s Dellinger Invitational in Eugene, Oregon. The men’s team was led by Seth Totten who finished 17 overall with a time of 24:10. Totten’s time was a personal best, as he improved by 17 seconds from his time last year at the Dellinger Invitational.

The battle for first place was a close one, as BYU edged out host Oregon by 17 points to take home the team title. Southern Utah rounded out the top three placing third. The Highlanders placed in ninth place with 233 points, 10 points shy of eighth-place UMass Amherst and seven points ahead of 10th place finisher Idaho. The contest for the individual title was close as well, as Trevor Dunbar of Oregon edged out BYU’s Jared Ward by two seconds with a time of 23:38 to take home first place.

Michael Gauger was the second Highlander to finish, placing 61st with a time of 25:19. Right behind Gauger, Cody Jordan finished a second later in 62nd place with a time of 25:20. Nic Beechan placed 75th with a time of 25:43. Rounding out the squad was Sebastian Puraci and Benjamin Heck. Puraci placed 100th place with a time of 27:41 and Heck was the last runner to cross the finish line, placing 101st with a time of 27:48

The men’s team will next compete at the Highlander Invitational on Oct. 13 at 8:45 a.m,  which they will be hosting for the 14th consecutive year at the UCR Ag/Orgs Course. Last year the men’s team finished in an outstanding second place. However, again they will not have Chad Hall, who finished in fifth place last year at the Highlander Invitational. Seth Totten will look to have a big race and improve on last year’s performance where he placed in 22nd place with a time of 24:37.6