by Ryan Allen
The men’s and women’s cross country team traveled to Whittier College last Saturday to compete in the Whittier College Cross Country Invitational held at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park in La Mirada.
Both men and women ran a three and three-quarter mile race under the sultry Southern California sun. The Leopards faced tough competition on Saturday, facing teams from Biola, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), Pomona Pitzer, and UC Riverside.
The men ran a good race finishing behind fellow Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) members from CMS, Pomona-Pitzer, and Redlands. ULV ended up tied for 12th place with UC Riverside and finishing ahead of Cal Lutheran University and Cal Tech.
Freshman Mario Guerrero led La Verne, finishing 55th overall with a time of 21:42.88. Not far behind him were freshmen Faust Obeso and Kyle Young with times of 22:27.08 and 22:51.92. Finishing up La Verne’s line-up were sophomore Mike Hernandez, 24:34.42, and junior Jeremy Gonzalez, 25:05.55.
The top woman finisher for La Verne was freshman Sarah Neri, who finished 69th out of 140 runners, with a time of 28:20.4. Neri was followed by sophomore Lyn Merrill and junior Eren Piceno, who finished with times of 29:02.3 and 30:59.6.
Since the women’s cross country team only had three runners in the competition, the Leopards were not able to place with the other teams due to the fact that there has to be five runners on a team in order for the team’s points to be added up.
Head coach Pat Widolff said, “I feel good about the men, not so good about the women…The men beat some teams in SCIAC and lost to some teams as well. So we finished in the middle.” When asked why he was short to women runners he said, “One was sick, One was hurt, and one wasn’t ready to run…hopefully later in the season we will have five runners.”
The Leopards look to have a strong season from both the men’s and women’s teams in the SCIAC this season.
La Verne travels to San Diego tomorrow to compete in The San Diego Invitational.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.