On Saturday, The Master’s College women’s cross country team opened its season at the UC Irvine Invitational, tying for second behind NCAA Division I Arkansas (which currently ranks seventh in the nation) while competing in brutal conditions. The Lady Mustangs entered its season opener 5k ranking 10th in the NAIA.
At the start of the race, Arkansas took control, TMC’s Karis Frankian (Saugus, CA) hung on to her position, ultimately placing tenth with a final time of 18 minutes and 27 seconds.
The remaining scoring Lady Mustangs placed 25th-28th, which included sophomore Rachael Ingoldsby (St. John’s, FL), senior Charity Schroeder (Palmdale, CA), sophomore Hollie Larsen (Saugus, CA), and freshman Abigail Frankian (Saugus, CA) running times of 19:33, 19:36, 19:39, and 19:39, respectively. Larsen made a notable effort by improving her time from last year’s race by 42 seconds.
Collectively, the Lady Mustangs gathered a team time of 1:36:56.40.
“The pack of five girls was supposed to execute the plan of them staying together through the whole race, and they did that excellently,” remarked Karis Frankian. “We will hopefully stick together more in future races and progress toward the end of the season when it really counts.”
Now, The Lady Mustangs have two more weeks of hard training before they toe the line at their annual home race, The Mustang Challenge. This year’s race will include NCAA DI schools such as Sacramento State, Grand Canyon University, and UC Irvine. The meet will be held at Central Park in Santa Clarita on September 20 with the women’s race scheduled for an 8:00 AM start.
At the end of its 8k race, The Master’s College men’s cross country team, who currently ranks 13th in the NAIA, solidified a third-place finish behind a talented Central Arizona and NCAA Division I-based UC Irvine, all while competing in unseasonably warm conditions.
Tracking the quick pace of Central Arizona’s Harry Mulenga, the Mustangs were tested instantly to group together and compete as a pack of five.
Sophomore Michael Sciarra (Orange, CA) and senior John Hurd (Fairview, PA) led the way placing tenth and twelve in times of 26 minutes and 31 seconds and 26:33, respectively.
Not far from the group of two was senior Tyler Tockstein (Canyon Country, CA) who placed seventeenth with a time of 26:41.
Both sophomore Josh Sherfey (Stevenson Ranch, CA) and freshman Andrew Orona (Newhall, CA) rounded out the scoring for the Mustangs with times of 27:04 and 27:22, respectively.
Notably, Sciarra improved his time by 1 minute and 7 seconds, while Tockstein improved by 55 seconds from the same course last year.
As a team, TMC’s third-place finished was backed by its 2:14:13.30 team finish.
“We had a good pack for three miles, but we need to work on how we race in the second half of our future races,” assessed Sciarra. “We were only within nine points of UC Irvine, and I think that we will only get better as the season progresses.”
Now, the Mustangs have two more weeks of hard training before they toe the line at their annual home race, The Mustang Challenge. This year’s race will include NCAA DI schools such as Sacramento State, Grand Canyon University, and UC Irvine. The meet will be held at Central Park in Santa Clarita on September 20 with the men’s race scheduled for an 8:45 AM start.