Warriors take on Mustangs
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This past weekend was The Master’s Cross Country Invitational where both the Westmont men’s and women’s cross country teams participated. Both teams hoped to rebound from their middle-of-the-pack run three weeks ago at the Biola Invitational where the men finished sixth of ten and the women fifth out of 12.
The women were pitted against familiar Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) foes in the Master’s University Mustangs and William Jessup University Warriors. A 5,000 meter race would decide this invitational, where the course appeared to be more difficult along the end half of the first mile and the beginning half of the third mile as it took the runners among more tricky terrain.
Westmont freshman Grace Hanna led the way finishing in eighth place with a time of 18:58.5 and right behind her was senior Janna Jensen with a time of 19:07.2, finishing in tenth. Within the next minute, the rest of the main five runners crossed line - senior Nadine Lara finished in 19:37.6, freshman Casey Jensen finished in 19:54.5, and freshman Hannah Webster finished in 19:59.8. These three placed in 20th, 24th, and 27th respectively. The Warriors tallied a score of 89, but home course advantage fell to The Master’s, as the Mustangs swept the field with a score of 52, giving them first place and leaving Westmont in fourth place.
The men’s 8K race had hopes of not letting home field be the difference in this race. Westmont set a blazing pace early as sophomore Michael Oldach finished first with a time of 25:14.9. Behind him was senior Kyle Fredrickson in seventh with a time of 26:01.1, senior Thomas Hamlin in eighth with 26:12.7, junior Blake Fonda in 12th with 26:23:5, and senior Nic Swider in 33rd with 27:38:1. A solid performance by the men gave them 61 points and an average time of 26:18.0. However, The Master’s University Mustangs just had enough left in the tank to barely pull out the victory with an average time of 26:15.2 and a score of 60.
Even though the final outcomes were not what these two teams hoped for, the improvement was evident and showed they would not let the past drag them down. Next up for both teams is the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on October 14, which gives these runners plenty of rest as well as ample training time to take that race by storm in two weeks.