The Cal Poly men's cross country team in 2014. | Courtesy Photo/Ross French

The Cal Poly women’s cross-country team won its fifth Big West Conference championship since 2000 at Saturday’s conference championship meet hosted by UC Riverside.

The Mustangs’ win marked the 18th conference championship for the women’s cross-country program since 1981. Their 39 team points earned them a finish ahead of UC Santa Barbara (59 points) and last season’s conference champions, UC Davis (69 points).

Of the Mustangs’ top three finishers, two were true freshmen. Peyton Bilo continued her successful season with a time of 20 minutes, 36.87 seconds — good for second place overall in the 6-kilometer race. The other true freshman, Katie Izzo, finished third on the team and ninth overall with a time of 20:59.84. Senior Sara Van Dyke took second on the team and seventh overall at 20:59.27.

Rounding out the Mustangs’ top five were juniors Ashley Windsor (21:00.87) and Mary Jo Wright (21:07.33) who finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

Senior Erika Veidis (15th, 21:16.63), sophomore Sydney Szabo (17th, 21:19.69), freshman Hannah Hull (23rd, 21:37.49) and junior Mary Hillis (38th, 22:12) also competed for the Mustangs.

After the completion of the women’s event, the Cal Poly men’s cross-country team prepared for a strong performance in the 8-kilometer championship race.

Junior Nick Woolf finished fourth overall with a time of 24 minutes, 17.04 seconds, pacing the Mustangs to a second place team finish. The Mustangs’ 36-point performance was only five points behind UC Santa Barbara’s championship-winning 31-point performance.

Following Woolf were redshirt freshmen Garrett Migliozzi and Devin Grove who finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Senior Luis Morales finished 11th with a time of 25:35.69.

Junior Swarnjit Boyal, who led the Mustangs in each of their previous meets this season, finished in 24 minutes, 28.27 seconds, good for eighth overall.

Redshirt freshman Peter Cotsirilos (18th, 24:59.47), junior David Galvez (23rd, 25:14.60) and senior Al Gamez Jr. (32nd, 25:35.16) rounded out the competitors for the Cal Poly men.

Both the men’s and women’s teams move on to participate in the West Region Championships at the University of Washington on Nov. 13.

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