The Long Beach State cross country teams traveled to Brea, Calif. on Saturday morning for the season-opening Mark Covert Classic and came back with two top-10 finishers.
Hillary Zator and Jake Dawson placed in the top ten in the women’s 5,000 meters and men’s 8,000 meters, respectively, at Carbon Canyon Regional Park. Zator finished in fourth with a time of 18:10.8, and Dawson’s time of 25.51.0 earned him a seventh-place finish.
Of the eight teams that competed in the women’s race, LBSU finished sixth, recording 144 points on the day. Loyola Marymount proved to be the stiffest competition, as it finished the day with 34 points. Pepperdine came in second with 66 points, and Southern California rounded out the top three with their 73 points. Cal State Fullerton finished in fourth (95) and San Diego State took fifth (113).
Sophomore Alexis Trujillo crossed the line in 41st with a time of 19:48.2, followed by senior Andrea Gayton-Jacob in 45th (19:54.7).
Freshman Kathleen Dunne and Ashley Carrera both cracked the top 60, finishing in 56th and 60th respectively with Dunne posting a time of 20:06.06 and Carrera finishing in 20:09.4.
Senior Taylor Goto placed 64th (20:12.3), and freshman Lali Avila finished in 72nd.
The LBSU men’s team came away with a third-place finish out of the five teams with 82 points. LMU earned the championship with 22 points, 20 point ahead of second-place CSUF. SDSU finished behind the 49ers with 110 points, and Pepperdine came in last with 128 points.
Freshman runners Kevin Ramirez and Emillo Nunez crossed the line in 22nd and 33rd, respectively, with Ramirez posting a time of 26:36.6 and Nunez finishing in 26:55.6.
Freshman Andres Velasco finished just outside the top 50 with a 51st-place finish (27:19.4), followed by classmates Samuel Bautista in 71st (27:46.0) and Zach Diaz in 73rd (27:49.0). Senior Andrew Garcia finished in 84th.
Although both teams were unable to win over the weekend, 49er cross country coach Patrick Wales-Dinan said he was happy with the steps that were made to start the season.
“The men executed the race plan flawlessly,” Wales-Dinan told LBSU Athletics. “We are very excited about what we were able to get out of this competition and can’t wait to be joined by some more of our top people in the coming weeks. On the women’s side, Hillary Zator showed her ever growing fitness with a controlled effort in a strong field, and our young people got some very valuable experience.”
LBSU will be back at it on Sept. 14 when it travels to Malibu for the Pepperdine Invitational.