The Long Beach State men’s and women’s cross country teams will look to hit the ground running when they begin their seasons at the Mark Covert Classic on Saturday morning.
The 49ers will go to Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea, Calif., to test their new teams, which include 16 freshmen.
The men’s team will be led by junior Chris Enriquez, who had a very successful outdoor track season last spring. Joining Enriquez at the front of the pack will be senior Jake Dawson. Dawson finished fourth in the 10,000 meters at the Big West Conference outdoor track and field championships in the spring.
“This is a very exciting season for our men’s program,” 49er cross country coach Patrick Wales-Dinan told the LBSU Athletics website. “We are definitely thrilled to be bringing in so much young talent, but we’re also very excited about where our upperclassmen are and hope to make a big improvement in both our conference and regional positions from a year ago.”
Senior Hillary Zator will be looked upon to lead the women’s cross country team, which finished fifth at the Big West championships last year. Zator currently holds the sixth-fastest 10K time in LBSU history.
Eight freshmen will be joining Zator this season.
“Our women’s team is very young,” Wales-Dinan told LBSU Athletics. “We have lots of talent, but that talent is coupled with inexperience. I look forward to seeing our team develop throughout the season.”
The 49ers will be taking on teams from Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine, Southern California and San Diego among others at the Mark Covert Classic.
Golf and women’s tennis
The LBSU golf teams and women’s tennis team will begin their seasons later this month to get some competitive practice in before their full seasons in the spring.
The men’s golf team will look toward senior Raymond Ho for leadership when its season begins on Sept. 23. The 49ers’ first tournament will be played at Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course in the Saint Mary’s Invitational.
The women’s golf team will start its season on Sept. 10 at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic in Colorado. LBSU will be led by junior Chaewon Park, who tied for 54th at the United States Women’s Amateur Championship over the summer.
The women’s tennis team brings back three seniors for the 2013 campaign, including Klaudia Malenovska, Sarah Cantlay and Anna Jeczmionka. Their fall season will begin at the UNLV Invitational on Sept. 20.