Sports In Brief

Hacker Leads Cross-Country to UCI Invitational Victory

For the first time since 2002, the UC Irvine Men’s Cross-Country team won the Asics/UCI Invitational on Sept. 11 at the Anteater Recreation Center Field. Irvine defeated runner-up Cal Poly along with 17 other competing schools. In a field of 238 runners, senior Colin Hacker was the first Anteater to cross the finish line in 7th place overall with a time of 25:12.8.

Nearly 20 seconds later, junior Rex Nelson finished his race in 14th place at 25:31.5. Senior Barrett Tilley finished 21st at 25:39.3. Shortly after, senior Victor Bonilla (25:44.6), along with juniors Sam Hyams (25:45.8) and Brett Matejka (25:50.5) finished 23rd through 25th respectively. Hacker’s performance led to his being named the Big West Conference Athlete of the Week.

Men’s Tennis Adds Three Promising Players to Roster

After winning the 2010 Big West Championship, the men’s tennis team suffered a key loss when Zac Tsai graduated. Tsai’s departure was expected to leave a void in the team’s roster; however, head coach Trevor Kronemann took the necessary steps this offseason to fill the void.

With the addition of three talented players, the Anteaters should not skip a beat in 2011. These additions include transfer Chris Kearney and freshmen Ryan Cheung and Eric Gast. As a former University of North Carolina Tarheel, Kearney was named the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and was selected as an All-American doubles player in 2008. After going through legal troubles in 2008, Kearney left UNC. Having been out of collegiate tennis for two seasons, he will look to recapture his prominent career as an Anteater.

Cheung’s arrival could also pay dividends for Coach Kronemann’s team this upcoming season. Last year, he was named the OC Register’s Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year at Irvine’s University High School. In addition, Cheung has already developed chemistry with a teammate, junior Fabian Matthews. Matthews and Cheung won the Southern California Tennis Association Jr. Section doubles title two years ago.
Gast, a Saratoga High School graduate, enters college as the Tennis Recruiting Network’s 99th nationally ranked freshman of 2010.

Track & Field Team Welcomes Ciarelli as New Assistant Coach

Last month, UCI head track and field coach Vince O’Boyle named Katelyn Ciarelli as an assistant coach to the men’s and women’s track and field teams. As a volunteer assistant to the team last season, Ciarelli proved her value in her work with throwers. She will focus much of her time on the throwers once again this season, a role she will bring experience to.

An alumna of Long Beach State, Ciarelli is a two-time Big West Champion (2006, 2008) in the discus. Following her time at Long Beach State, she served as an assistant throw’s coach at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon and recently received her master’s in coaching and athletic administration at Concordia University, Irvine.