The Long Beach State cross country program got off to a great start in the first event last week, but were not able to carry the momentum into Saturday’s meet. The women’s team finished 16th with 492 points, and the men’s team placed 22nd with 575 points at the UC Riverside Invitational in Riverside.
Both the men’s and women’s team faced tracks that were much longer than the first meet, as the women jumped from a 4,000-meter course to a 6,000-meters, and the men went from 5,000 to 8,000 meters.
Junior Mikayla Florez led the women to a team win at the Pepperdine Invitational on Sept. 1 thanks to her first place finish among a field of 44 runners. Florez had the best time on her team again (21:28.0) and was the 56th runner to cross the finish line. The reigning Big West cross country athlete of the week will try to put the disappointing finish behind her and return to winning form.
The top women’s time was turned in by UC Santa Barbara runner Jenna Hinkle at 19:59.8 while Arkansas made the long trip to southern California well worth it, with a dominating 36-point team victory.
On the men’s side, senior George Martinez was the top LBSU runner after placing 89th with an 8K time of 25:30.1. The 49ers took 22nd place in a field of 32 teams, improving on their performance in the first dual-meet of the season.
Southern Utah took home the men’s team title with 30 points and Utah Valley’s Tyson Lambert got the individual win with a time of 23:53.8.
LBSU will have a quick turnaround when it travels to Las Vegas for the UNLV Invitational at Craig Ranch Regional Park. The women will be back to running a 4K course while the men are back to 5K.