LOUISVILLE (10-5) – UC Santa Cruz traveled to Louisville to take part in the NCAA Division III Nationals Preview as part of the Live in Louisville event. The Banana Slugs finished tenth in the women's Silver race and the men finished eleventh against competition that included NCAA Division III schools from all across the United States.
"This was an incredible opportunity for our teams to test themselves in a large nationally competitive field and I think we did really well," said head coach David Klech. "We held our own and beat some teams we weren't expected to."
In the men's 8K race, senior Paul Colosi had the best finish of the day as he finished 23rd out of over 270 runners with a time of 24:56.3. Freshman Hayden Johnson ran the course in 25:14.6 and finished 40th. Kellen O'Neill was 55th in 25:27.4. Pablo Cortes had a time of 25:45.9 which placed him 78th. Perry Winsor was 98th in 26:58.9. Luke Trafecanty finished with a time of 26:09.9, placing him in 101st place. Nick Kleiber rounded the Banana Slugs' contingent with a 192nd place in 27:20.3.
"The men had a strongman performance but we left some points on the course. Paul really showed why he's an All-American candidate," Klech said. "Hayden set the freshman school record and was really impressive."
In the women's race, technical errors shortened the planned 5K to 3900 meters. Freshman Ashley Baudin had UCSC's best finish as she finished 41st out of 253 with a time of 21:54.8. Elana Muzzy was 50th in 22:04.6. Riley Martel-Phillips ran a time of 22:11.5 for 60th, Natalie Marquardt finished 69th with a time of 22:18.2 and Hana Vrablik finished 79th in 24:30.2 . Izzy Heart finished 92nd with a time of 22:34.2. Ella Ruff rounded out the Banana Slugs with a time of 22:49 which placed her in 118th. "The Women went in with no expectations," Klech explained. "Last year we were on the cusp of national recognition, and today they put themselves on the map knocking out a number of top Division 3 programs."
In the men's team competition, North Central won, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the women's team competition. "We have 6 weeks until the NCAA West Regionals, so we'll focus on getting healthy and getting prepared for a great postseason," said Klech.
The next race for the Banana Slugs will be October 19 as they will take part in Santa Clara University's Bronco Invitational at Baylands Regional Park in Sunnyvale.