PORTLAND, Ore. – Though it was the lone Division II school in the field, Chico State men’s more than held its own against the Division I entries at Saturday’s West Coast Conference Preview in Portland. The Wildcats placed second in the team’s season-opening meet, with six runners cracking the top 30 and 11 finishing the 8,000-meter race inside the 25-minute mark.

Isaac Chavez, a two-time All-American, began the 2012 campaign by running the Fernhill Park course with a time of 23:28.34 and finishing fifth in the 83-runner field. Alfonso Cisneros came in 13th place, clocking in at 23:47.97, followed in 14th place by 2011 All-American Dayne Gradone with a time of 23:48.50.

Aaron Thomas was the next Chico State runner to cross the finish line – his time of 23:55.81 good for 21st place overall. Adrian Sherrod’s first competition since earning All-America honors last year resulted in a 23rd place finish with a time of 23:59.62. Alan Cuevas came in 26th place for the Wildcats, registering a time of 24:05.12.  

Four other Wildcats made their 2012 cross country debuts Saturday. Alex McGuirk finished in 54th place with a time of 25:07.09; Rogan Meza came in 55th at 25:11.31; Zach Zadrozna placed 59th with a time of 25:17.75, and Dillon Breen crossed the finish line at 25:22.52, good for 63rd place.

Host school University of Portland took the WCC Preview’s top team honors. Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, St. Mary’s and Santa Clara finished behind the second place Wildcats.