The Long Beach State cross country program had four runners finish in the top-10 during Saturday’s meet in Las Vegas. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed second, with the men’s taking 47 points as women’s scored 73 points, in the UNLV Invitational at the Craig Ranch Regional Park.
In last week’s UC Riverside Invitational meet, the team was not accustomed to the distance of the course as it was longer by 2,000 meters for the women and 3,000 meters for the men. It made it more difficult for the runners, which impacted their results in Riverside, however, in the UNLV invitational, lbsu revealed that they’re buckling up and settling in as a team.
LBSU junior Mikayla Florez finished in third place in the 5,000-meter course, setting a personal best of 17:49 and beating her previous record by 23 seconds. Sophomore Julie Vargas ran a 18:25 in the course finishing in 13th place, while junior Alexis Ceballos crossed the finish line in 18th place with a time of 18:42, rounding up the top-3 for LBSU on the women’s side.
The top woman finisher was Utah Valley’s senior McKayla Walker at 17:32, earning the Wolverines a dominating 18 points in the race for first place out of five programs.
The men’s squad was led by senior George Martinez, the top runner for the 49ers who finished sixth in the 6,000 meter course with a time of 19:09. Freshman Joey Del Valle Rutherford ran a 19:25 finishing eighth, while junior Patrick Burciago placed in 12th with a time of 19:43 rounding up the top-3 for the 49ers’ men’s side.
With only Utah Valley and LBSU competing in the men’s course, the Wolverines scored 15 points for first place while the 49ers had 47 points as a team.
LBSU will have a long break until its next competition when it travels on Oct. 14 to the Inland Empire Invitational hosted by UC Riverside.