After finishing near the top in each of its first three meets, the Long Beach State cross country team finally broke through on Saturday morning.
Rosa Del Toro once again paced the women’s team to help earn the 49ers their first team title of the 2010 season at the Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale, Calif.
The junior finished the 5,000-meter race at Baylands Regional Park with a time of 17:16.6, which was good enough for sixth place. Teammate Jennifer Rodriguez came in ninth after smashing her personal best by more than 25 seconds with a time of 17:23.9.
The Beach finished the team competition with 60 points and an average time of 17:25.4 to best second-place finisher Idaho State by 91 points. The Bengals finished the meet with an average time of 17: 43.3.
Pepperdine’s Lauren Lodge took home the individual crown with a time of 16:50.4 in the meet that featured 19 teams.
In all, the 49ers had five runners finish in the top 20.
LBSU sophomore Nina Moore came in at 17:25.8 to take 12th place. Meanwhile, juniors Lenore Moreno and Alisia Barajas earned 16th and 17th place, respectively. Moreno finished the race with a time of 17:28.4, while Barajas came in with a time of 17:32.1.
Junior Liz Ramos’ time of 17:44.4 was good enough for 25th place. The time was not counted towards the 49ers’ overall score, however, as each team is only allowed to count its five best times.
The LBSU men earned sixth place in the 8,000-meter race after earning 199 points with an average time of 24:50.6.
Freshman Heath Reedy paced the ‘Niners by coming 31st with a time of 24:43.4. Sophomore Nicholas Kelley took 35th place (24:45.9) and teammate Bret Hasvold earned 37th with a time of 24:47.1.
Junior Matt Maldonado finished the race in 41st after completing the competition with a time of 24:51.5. Freshman Andrew Garcia’s time of 25:04.8 was good enough for 55th place.
UC Davis junior Jon Peterson earned the individual title with a time of 23:45.1, while Lamar University won the team competition with 51 points. Lamar edged out Chico State’s 62 points with an average time of 24:12.4.
The 49ers will return to action Friday at the Titan Invitational in Fullerton.