Lions Take Fourth at Long Beach State Invitational
Led by Kristen Gonzalez and Adam Bacon, both squads finish fourth among Division I participants.
Oct. 20, 2003
Long Beach, Calif. - The men and women's cross country teams were back in action over the weekend at the Long Beach State Invitational. Both squads finished fourth among participating Division I schools.
"We were looking at this meet as a tune-up heading into the West Coast Conference championship meet in two weeks," head coach Scott Guerrero said. "What we found instead were unusually hot conditions that really impacted us and contributed to us running the slowest we have all year. What's important at this point is that we put this one behind us and focus on a peak performance in two weeks."
Freshman Kristen Gonzalez finished first for the Lions and turned in a stellar performance over the 6000m course. Her time of 23:43 was a personal best and was good for a sixth place finish in the college race, her highest finish to date. Juniors Trinity Amalfitano and Alexis Gernhardt ran 24:30 and 24:43, respectively. Both set personal bests at the number two and three spots.
"I think our women ran extremely well given the conditions," Guerrero said. "After they saw what happened during the men's race, they made the adjustment for the heat and then really ran a strong, come from behind race over other teams that were just wilting in the heat."
The men were led for the third straight time by sophomore Adam Bacon who covered the 8000m course in 27:33 for 20th place among NCAA Division I schools. Junior Andrew Thompson crossed the line just seven seconds later in 27:40. Sophomore Kenny Arehart was the third Lion finisher in 28:27.
"Our men went into the race with a plan which they really attempted to execute," said Guerrero. "The problem was that we didn't adjust for the heat and that really hurt us. Our top three looked pretty good, but after that we just fell off a cliff."
The Lions will be running a "B" squad at the Cal State Fullerton Invitational on Friday, October 24. The majority of the varsity squad will have an off-weekend to prepare for the WCC Championship meet the following weekend on November 1st. The conference championship meet is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on the Crystal Springs course in Belmont, Calif. The Lions have already competed on that course this season, when they opened their 2003 campaign at the Bronco Invitational on August 30th.
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