by Greg Maher
The men’s and women’s Cross Country teams successfully opened their season at the Whittier Invitational last Saturday.
The women finished 20th, out of a field of 20 teams. The Leopards were led by sophomore Jill Perkins who finished 32nd out of 151 runners. Perkins ran an impressive time of 25:06 over a tough course which included two grueling hills. Also running well were sophomore Kelly Perkins, and juniors Monica Patino and Erika Spencer.
On the men’s side, junior Brian Ward led the way with a time of 21:03, good for 50th place. There were a total of 182 men in the race. Sophomore Gilbert Gomez ran a strong race finishing 77th, with a time of 21:36. Rounding out the top five for the men were junior Angel Casillas, and freshmen Victor Capetillo and William Donald. The team placed 12th out of 21 teams.
Coach Pat Widolff was excited about the teams’ first efforts, and is looking forward to bigger and better things this season.
This season there are eight women and 12 men. The women are led by last year’s Most Valuable Player Maria Esqueda, and the men are counting on veteran runners Gomez and Jose Barba. All three runners are sophomores.
Widolff hopes for the best this year as he adds many new runners to this season’s squad.
Another new addition is assistant coach Chris Klaes from Michigan. This is the first time La Verne has ever had an assistant Cross Country coach. “I am very happy and excited to have him here.” Widolff said.
According to Widolff, Claremont and Occidental are the teams to beat in SCIAC.
“One of the two has always been conference champs for years, they always win and they set all of the records,” he said.
Despite the dominance of other teams and all of the new runners this year at La Verne, Widolff is looking forward to the 1994 season.
Widolff is especially excited about this weekend’s upcoming meet in San Diego because it will give his team the opportunity to compete with runners from across the country.
“We are so excited about going to San Diego State this weekend,” he said. “The best runners in the nation are going to be there.”
Last year the Leos’ men’s and women’s teams finished seventh in SCIAC respectively.
The team’s next meet will be at the San Diego State Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Balboa Park in San Diego.