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Cross Country

Mireles, Hinkle Set Personal Bests At Highlander Invitational


Seniors Izzak Mireles and Jenna Hinkle led the field of Big West athletes at the Highlander Invitational.

Mireles Posts Runner-Up Finish

UC Irvine senior Izzak Mireles (Livingston, Calif./Livingston HS) earned Big West Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week accolades after finishing second overall at the Highlander Invitational.

Mireles established a 6K personal-record in a time of 17:56.9, eclipsing his previous best by over 12 seconds.  He led the field of Big West athletes, which included participants from Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara, and was the overall runner-up out of 122 competitors.

It was his best showing of the year, and his third top-three performance in four meets.  He finished just shy of Pepperdine’s Nick Heath (17:49.7) for the individual title.

UC Irvine finished second as a team with 72 points on the UCR Ag/Ops Course, site of the Big West Championships on October 28.  The Anteaters placed ahead of UCSB, UCR, CSUN and LBSU in the team standings.

Others nominated: Jorge Sanchez (Cal State Fullerton); George Martinez (Long Beach State); James De Mello (UC Davis); Solomon Demeku-Ousman (UC Riverside); Isaiah Lozano (UC Santa Barbara)

Hinkle Captures Individual Title

UC Santa Barbara senior Jenna Hinkle (Cottonwood, Calif./West Valley HS) received her third Big West Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week nod this season as she claimed first place in the 5K at the Highlander Invitational.

Hinkle’s winning time of 16:48.0 amounted to a personal-best 5K for the veteran runner, who helped the Gauchos attain the team title with 50 points.  UCSB outscored fellow Big West squads Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, Long Beach State, CSUN and UC Irvine.

The Gauchos initially were set to compete in northern California that weekend, but questionable air quality from the fires in that area forced them to change venues at the last minute.  It was Hinkle’s second individual title this season, and she has finished at least in the top-eight in all four races.

Others nominated: Sam Huerta (Cal State Fullerton); Christine Bayliss (UC Davis); Faith Makau (UC Riverside)