Women’s Cross Country Shines at Bronco Invitational
The Bronco Invitational, hosted by Santa Clara University at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale proved to be a record-setting race for the Lady Mustangs. Amongst a field of division one competition, the women’s squad set a new TMC record team time of 1:33:52, averaging 18 minutes, 46 seconds per athlete over the 5k course.
Finishing first for the Mustang squad was Karis Frankian (Saugus, CA), crossing the line in 17:43, the third-fastest freshman time of the day. Close behind Frankian was teammate Hannah Kellerman (Sartell, MN), running 17:59. Kellerman had led the Mustangs through the first miles of the event, coming through the two-mile marker in a blazing 11:07. Unfortunately, the fast start caused Kellerman to struggle late in the competition, nonetheless, the junior hung on to post her second sub-18 minute race of the season.
With two finishing under 18 minutes, No. 3 for the squad was junior Katrina Graham (Riverside, CA). Having a fantastic season thus far, Graham showed up big for the second race in a row. Coming off an outstanding performance at the Stanford Invitational just two weeks ago, Graham ran a new personal best of 18:28. “Katrina is looking at earning All GSAC honors at our conference championships. She is an extremely critical piece that will determine how high up we finish at conference,” Coach Zach Schroeder said. “With Hannah and Karis up in front, and Katrina running a top 14 spot, all we have to do is have our 4-5 put together the races I know we can and we’ll do very well.”
Finishing fourth and fifth for the Lady Mustangs were Micayla Frankian (Saugus, CA) in 19:38, just seconds off her personal best, and Hayley Parkinson (Canyon Country, CA) who completed the course in 20 minutes flat. Sophomore Jessica Hawley (Santa Clarita, CA) also had a great day, taking over 30 seconds off her lifetime best.
The TMC women are currently ranked third in the GSAC and 13th in the NAIA. One week from now, they will have their first opportunity to face Biola head to head. The Eagles are currently first in the GSAC and fifth nationally. The ladies are looking forward to their chance to see how they will stack up against the rest of the conference at the West Coast Jamboree, to be hosted by Biola at Irvine Regional Park on October 20th.
Men: Running Wild
It was a fantastic day for The Master’s College men’s cross country team at the Bronco Invitational, hosted by Santa Clara University at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. “Today we put together a race indicative of how good we actually are,” said Coach Zach Schroeder, “and I believe we can be better still.” It was an exciting race to watch as The Master’s men scored five runners under 25 minutes, 40 seconds on the fast 8k course. “This is probably one of my favorite races we’ve had as a program,” Schroeder commented. “We executed exactly as planned; every single one of my guys did precisely what we talked about before the race and every single one of them set a new personal record. I love what I saw from my men today.”
Leading the way with another spectacular performance was TMC’s John Gilbertson (Saugus, CA), this time breaking not only his own personal and school record, but the Baylands Park course record as well. Winning the race in a phenomenal time of 23:40, it’s looking likely for the senior to remain undefeated this season. Coming off a huge win at the Stanford Cross Country Invitational two weeks ago, this is the second NCAA Division One race in a row won by Gilbertson and his fourth of the year.
As planned, David Eller (Los Angeles, CA) stepped up and filled the No. 2 for the squad in the absence of teammate Anthony Pizzo, running a huge personal best of 25:10. Taking almost a minute off his previous 8k best, the senior will look to dip under 25 minutes in his next outing.
Running more conservatively through the first few miles, the Mustangs’ Nos. 3-5 stuck together throughout the race in what proved to be the best demonstration of pack running in the history of the program. “Never before have we had our 3-5 run as fast as what we saw today,” Schroeder said. Finishing third for the Mustangs was John Hurd (Fairview, PA), continuing a breakout sophomore campaign. Closing the gap on teammate Eller, Hurd finished just seven seconds back in 25:17.
Rounding out the scoring for the Mustangs was senior Camden McAlister (Saugus, CA) in 25:35, followed closely by junior Matthew Crichton (Mission Viejo, CA) in 25:38. Slotted in spots six and seven for TMC were freshmen Ryan Freeman (Highland, CA) and Daniel Eller (Los Angeles CA), both running their best collegiate races thus far with times of 26:38 and 26:47, respectively.
The Mustangs now look to their next competition just a week away at the West Coast Jamboree hosted by Biola at Irvine Regional Park on October 20th. The race will serve as a championship preview for the GSAC Championship meet two weeks later, where the TMC men plan on winning a “three-peat” conference title.