IRVINE, Calif. - On Saturday, The Master's College men's and women's cross country teams toed the line at the UC Irvine Invitational in hot and humid conditions.
The rest of the Mustangs were not far behind with both John Hurd (Fairveiw, PA) and Matthew Crichton (Mission Viejo, CA) finishing 20 seconds apart with times of 26:30 and 26:50.2. Daniel Eller (Los Angeles, CA), Tyler Tockstein (Santa Clarita, CA), Michael Sciarra (Irvine, CA), and Taylor Koh (Santa Margarita, CA) followed with times of 27:35.6, 27:36.8., 27:38.4, and 29:40, respectively.
The end result of the race put the men at third place, right behind Division I NCAA power, UC Irvine. Notably, it was the best team finish (3rd, 2:14:53.00, 90 points, 26:58.60 average time) TMC has recorded at the event.
With regards to the top three, head coach Zach Schroeder stated, "Going into the race, we wanted to see five guys finishing together. We had to change the racing strategy from past years with the absence of a front runner. The top three guys did a great job of working together, and in the weeks to come, we want to see the gap between our one and five diminish."
Senior runner Hannah Kellerman (Sartell, MN) immediately went to the front pack, and held off the remaining field to win the 5,000 meter race with a time of 17:51.4. Making for a special family moment, Kellerman's parents made a surprise appearance at their daughter's first-place race.
Sophomore Karis Frankian (Saugus, CA) closed the day with a fourth-place finish in 18:31.4.
The group of the remaining Lady Mustangs finished one after the other with freshman Rachael Ingoldsby (St. Johns, FL) leading the way with the second fastest freshman time of 19:20.0. Completing the scoring for the Lady Mustangs were Micayla Frankian (Saugus, CA), Charity Schroeder (Palmdale, CA), Morgan Pedrick (Newhall, CA), Hollie Larsen (Saugus, CA), and Jessica Hawley (Santa Clarita, CA).
As a team, the Lady Mustangs finished second amongst thirteen other collegiate teams, bested only by NCAA Division I team, San Diego State.
"This women's team will have a strong contention against the top teams in the nation," further assessed Coach Schroeder.
Next up for TMC is their second annual home meet, The Mustang Challenge, in two weeks on Saturday, September 21. Race time is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. for the women, and 9:15 a.m. for the men, at Central Park.