Cross Country Competes in Bronco Invitational
Three freshmen score for the Lions in their collegiate debut.
Aug. 31, 2003
The Loyola Marymount cross country teams opened their first weekend of competition at the Bronco Invitational hosted by Santa Clara University on the Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont, Calif. The site is also the site of the West Coast Conference championships to be held on November 1, 2003.
The LMU men were led individually by sophomore Kenny Arehart, whose time of 27:20 represented a 50 second improvement on his personal best on the 8000 meter course at Crystal Springs. It also represented the first time that he has claimed the number one spot for the Lions. He was followed by juniors Bernie Ochoa and Andy Thompson in 27:38 and 27:50 respectively. Rounding out the top five finishers were sophomores David Steinhafel (28:02) and Adam Bacon (28:12). Also showing promise for the Lions were solid performances by incoming freshmen Reynaldo Barrera (28:28) and Drew Haberkorn (28:42) who clocked their first-ever attempts at the 8000 meter distance.
"Our guys looked great," head coach Scott Guerrero said. "This is by far the best we have ever looked. Running fast as a pack is what wins meets and our top five got across the line in 52 seconds. That is our best gap ever. We're a young team and we returned everyone from last year. These guys clearly did the work over the summer and it has paid off. They are older, stronger and more experienced and I can see that by the fact that none of our freshmen cracked the top five. They are definitely knocking on the door, though. By the time conference rolls around we'll be ready and it will be fun to watch."
Stanford, the defending national champion, won the overall men's team title. LMU finished fifth overall in the men's team competition. The women got off to a strong start despite losing four of their top seven runners from last year's squad. Leading the charge in their collegiate debut were freshmen Katie Strachan and Kristen Gonzalez who finished first and second for the Lions in 20:04 and 20:08 respectively. Their performances represented the fastest debuts ever by LMU freshmen on the 5000 meter Crystal Springs course. They were followed by team captains Maria Degitz (20:34) and Trinity Amalfitano (20:46) in the number three and four spots. Deborah Hom, another freshman in her collegiate debut, finished fifth for the Lions in 21:21.
Stanford (2nd at last year's national championships) won the overall women's team plaque. LMU finished 8th in the women's team competition.
"We had a great performance today, in my opinion," Guerrero said. "We have really rebuilt this squad in the last year and the fact that we have three freshmen in our top five shows it. We were using this early meet to get some experience on the course and to gauge where we are heading into the season. I am totally excited about the season to come because I believe this is the squad that will take this program to new heights."
Complete results can be found at:
The Lions will next compete in the UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday, September 6. The meet begins at 8:45 a.m.
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