SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Both LMU men’s and women’s cross country teams finished sixth at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale, Calif. at the Baylands Regional Park on Saturday, Oct. 14.
The Men’s 8K Invitational was the first event of the day, as junior Jack Polerecky finished first among Lion men and came in 21st overall with a time of 24:11.4. Polerecky’s time was a career best for the 8K distance by 15 seconds and ranks him in the top 5 in LMU history. Senior Patrick Gibson was next for the Lions placing 24th overall with a time of 24:23.7. His time ranks him 7th in LMU history and one second ahead of his brother and 2014 Alum Daniel Gibson.
The junior trio of Koby Pederson (24:30.2), Jordan McLennan (24:45.8) and Joey Rodgers (25:05.9) rounded out the scoring five for the Lions and finishing with 163 points. McLennan and Rodgers also ran career bests improving by 15 and 37 seconds respectively. Freshman Simeon Paul (25:23.0) and junior Ben Davis (25:27.0) ran personal bests for 8K. Paul improved by a staggering 41 seconds while Davis barely eclipsed his previous best by less than a second. Senior Harry Loasby ran 25:30.0 for the Lions.
“The men had a really good day despite two of our top five not running today due to illness,” said Lions head coach Scott Guerrero. “That said, we had five of our eight guys run a career best which means we are continuing to improve and get better which at the end of the day is our goal.”
In the Women’s 6K Invitational, Freshman Alex Beitia led the Lion women in her top finish of the season as she came in fourth place overall and third among collegiate runners with a time of 20:38.3. Beitia was only two seconds off the career best she set at the Riverside Invitational on Sept. 16. Junior Maddi Vorgitch secured 17th place overall finishing in a time of 20:54.8 and having a strong season for the Lions.
Sophomore Kyla Danforth (21:26.1) just missed a career best by only two seconds. Fifth for the Lions and completing the scoring five was Hannah Wohlenberg (21:55.1). The Lions finished with 181 points. Junior Giselle Masedo (22:00.2) and freshman Rosie Cruz (22:09.0) both ran career bests for 6K by five and 25 seconds respectively.
“All of our women had solid day, most of who either ran personal bests or came close to personal bests,” Guerrero said. “I thought Alex had the race of the day chasing down three or four ladies in the last 400 meters to get fourth overall.”
In the Men’s 8K Open, Junior Brian Joerger came in 13th overall (25:32.8) to lead the Lion men, followed by solid performances from freshmen Joseph Garcia (25:55.2) and Kyle Friedler (26:13.2). Garcia bettered his best time over 8K by 44 seconds, while Friedler improved on his previous best by five seconds.
In the Women’s 6K Open, Junior Emily Hubert paced the Lion women to a first place team finish. Hubert was second place overall and finished with a time of 22:30.7. Freshman Holly LaPlante trailed Hubert, locking in the 10th spot with a time of 23:06.3. Next across the line were were Junior Danielle Nunez (23:31.1), freshmen Courtney Gelmini (23:36.0) and Gaby Guerrero (23:38.3). Guerrero improved her time by 40 seconds. Junior Johanna Apelryd (25:42.6) finished out the day for LMU cross country.
The Lions will hit the course again on Friday, Oct. 20 when the teams race in the Titan Invitational in Fullerton, Calif for the last meet before the WCC Championships taking place on Friday, Oct. 27, in San Francisco.
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