Cross Country Continues to Set Records at UCR Invitational

Sept. 20, 2003


Riverside, Calif. - The Loyola Marymount men and women's cross country teams competed at the UC Riverside Invitational held at the Agricultural Operations course on the campus of UC Riverside. Over 600 runners took part in the competition on Saturday.

The LMU men continued to set records by running a school record team average of 27:03 for the scoring five over the 8000 meter (5 mile) course. Sophomore Adam Bacon led the Lions for the first time, crossing the finish line in a new personal best time of 26:41. He was followed by sophomore David Steinhafel in 26:50, also a new personal record. Junior Andrew Thompson was the third Lion across the line, also in a new personal record time of 27:00. Junior Bernie Ochoa (27:08) and sophomore Greg Corry (27:36) rounded out the scoring five.

"Our guys ran extremely well today," said head coach Scott Guerrero. "We have never run faster, which is amazing considering the fact that our number one runner, Kenny Arehart, was sidelined with the flu."

The Lion men were eighth in NCAA Division I competition and 19th overall. Three other West Coast Conference schools also participated in the meet: Pepperdine, USD, and Saint Mary's. LMU finished second to USD in the intra-conference competition. Pepperdine was third and Saint Mary's finished fourth.

The LMU women also set a team time record. The Lions ran a team time of 98:32, which is an average of 19:42 for the scoring five over the 5000 meter (3.1 mile) course. "This is the first time in my six years here that we have ever run under 100 minutes on any course. We are most definitely making progress," Guerrero said.



The women were again led by the freshman tandem of Kristen Gonzalez and Katie Strachan. Gonzalez led the charge, covering the 5K course in 19:10, followed closely by Strachan in 19:22. Senior Maria Degitz was third in 19:35, a career best. Junior and first-year runner Alexis Gernhardt debuted in her first collegiate competition and was the fourth Lion runner to finish in 20:02. Freshman Melani Hom continued to show her consistency by recording another top five finish in 20:23. Also making their debut for the Lions were Anne Marie Twining, Catherine Lima, and Rosa Ramirez who recorded times of 22:43, 23:42, and 27:23, respectively. The LMU women finished third behind USD and Pepperdine. The Lion women were ninth in NCAA Division I competition and tenth overall.

"We were hoping to do a little better against the other WCC schools," said Guerrero. "We threw everything we had at them and came up a little short. I'll let the fact that we had four first-year runners in our scoring five and still set a school record speak for itself."

The Lions will next face the competition at the Stanford Invitational on September 27th. The meet is slated to begin at 4:00 p.m.



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