Led by Damajerma Dubose, the UC Riverside women’s cross country team claimed first place at the Highlander Invitational this past weekend at UCR’s Ag/Ops course. The Highlanders dominated the competition in the 4k race, having four runners finish in the top ten, with a total score of 27 points. They defeated second place USC by 22 points, who had a total score of 49 points. Wyoming claimed the third spot with 54 points, and fourth place went to Big West rival UC Irvine, who finished with 93 points.

Dubose claimed first place with a time of 13:32.7, and she finished five seconds ahead of second place finisher Holly Page of Wyoming. Dubose’s performance was also a new course record.

Raquel Hefflin was the second Highlander to finish, as she placed third with a time of 13:48.5. Alisha Brown placed fifth with a time of 13:53.0 and Katy Daly placed seventh with a time of 13:58.4. Jzsanette Lindstrom finished in 11th place with a time of 14:08.2. Right behind Lindstrom, Brianna Simmons finished in 12th place with a time of 14:11.0. The last Highlander to score was Jaasmin Pina who place 20th with a time of 14:35.0.

“The women’s team has been performing very well.  It’s a surprise from the standpoint of we didn’t know what type of shape everyone would come back in.  It’s not a surprise because this group is so talented.  Right now we’re ranked 4th in the conference based on the regional ranking but our girls know they’re better than that,” said Coach Nate Browne before the race.

The Highlander Invitational was the last race before the Big West Conference Championships, where the lady Highlanders will look to improve from last year’s fifth place finish. The Highlanders will have home court advantage, as they did at the Highlander Invitational. The Big West Championships will be held at the Ag/Ops course on Saturday, Oct. 27.