The Mustang men added another victory to what has been the winningest season in the history of TMC men’s cross country. Finishing first at the West Coast Jamboree, hosted by Biola University at Irvine Regional Park, The Master’s College men completed their regular season undefeated against conference competition. With TMC’s top five runners placing first, second, fifth, sixth, and 12th individually, the men look sharp and ready to chase down their third GSAC Championship in a row two weeks from now on the same course.
Continuing to run unbeaten in every competition this fall, John Gilbertson (Saugus, CA) comfortably won the 8k race in 25:04, followed closely by teammate Anthony Pizzo (Canyon Country, CA) in 25:20, a good return effort after taking last week off. With only two runners between TMC’s next two, John Hurd (Fairview, PA) and David Eller (Los Angeles, CA) finished fifth and sixth overall, posting times of 25:54 and 25:57, respectively. Completing the scoring for the Mustangs was senior Camden McAlister (Saugus, CA), finishing the race in 26:31.
“Times were generally very slow today,” commented Coach Zach Schroeder. “We were really hoping to go out and sweep the meet, but we’ll have our chance again in two weeks. We know what adjustments need to be made and as we freshen up going in to the post-season, I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility to finish in the top five spots at our conference championships, which is what we need to be able to do if we want to compete for a podium finish at nationals. We need to close up the gap between our two and five. We’re starting to piece things together now, which is exciting. All we need is for five guys to show up at the same time at nationals and we could be very good.”
On November 3, the Mustang men will have an opportunity to bring home their third consecutive GSAC championship, a streak unprecedented in TMC athletics.
Saturday was an exciting race for the Lady Mustangs as the squad competed at the West Coast Jamboree, hosted by Biola University at Irvine Regional Park. On a day producing slow times overall, the TMC squad ran well as a team, finishing third among the competition. Winning the meet, NAIA fifth-ranked Biola narrowly defeated No. 8 Westmont by a mere 4 points. TMC finished just 17 points behind Westmont and is currently ranked 14th in the NAIA Top 25 poll.
Bringing home a victory for the second time this season, Hannah Kellerman (Sartell, MN) defeated Biola standout Kellian Hunt on her home course, finishing with a time of 18:11. Running a tactically smart race from start to finish, Kellerman executed exactly as planned. Sitting on Hunt through the first two miles of the race, Kellerman waited patiently to make her move until the course’s big hill. Demonstrating her great strength, Kellerman pulled away as she climbed towards the two-mile mark, comfortably holding on to her lead all the way to the finish.
Freshman Karis Frankian (Saugus, CA) had a great race as well, finishing secnd for the Mustangs and third overall, just four seconds back of Hunt. “We’ll get her next time,” Coach Zach Schroeder said. “It didn’t happen today, but now Karis has seen the course. She’ll know what to expect, and in two weeks, she’ll be feeling much fresher and faster.”
Third for TMC was Katrina Graham (Riverside, CA), who although feeling somewhat under the weather, managed to put together an effort worthy of a ninth-place finish. Graham’s race bodes well for her earning All-GSAC honors in two weeks at the conference championship meet, which is precisely what the junior plans to do.
Rounding out the scoring for TMC was Micayla Frankian (Saugus, CA) at 19:49, and Hayley Parkinson (Canyon Country, CA) in 20:38.
Coach Schroeder is confident these two key pieces of the squad’s score will only improve on this race at the GSAC Championships. “We’ve been training through our competitions all season long. Now it’s time to freshen up and feel fast for our final two races,” said Schroeder.
Today’s West Coast Jamboree was just a preview of better racing to come. Get ready for the GSAC Championships meet on November 3, hosted again by Biola at Irvine Regional Park.