By Andrew Cross
The Master’s University cross country teams enjoyed a record-setting morning at the TMU XC Invitational Saturday at Central Park in Santa Clarita.
Returning to this course for the first time since 2021, the Mustang men defended their home turf with a sound victory, and the women finished third against top NCAA competition.
The men’s 8000m race set the fastest overall team time in TMU history and the fastest NAIA time of 2023, with a top five total of 2:02:12. This was a record by more than 20 seconds, as the No. 3 ranked Mustangs dominated throughout and finished with 44 points to take the win. It was sophomore Jack Anderson who led the charge for the Mustangs, as he finished second in a time of 24:08, which was a personal best of over a minute.
“My main goal going into this race was to worship the Lord by offering Him my best effort and being a witness of Christ in whatever outcome He had prepared for me,” Anderson said. “As a team, our best opportunity to proclaim Christ is when we race together, with a love for each other that reflects to others the love that we have for Christ.”
Fourteen Mustang men achieved a personal record, and 18 men broke the 26-minute barrier. Other highlights included Isaiah Fastrup (24:58), Rocky Rowedder (25:41), and Isaac Methum (25:41), who all set a personal best of over 45 seconds.
The No. 5 ranked women had a successful day on the 6000m course as well, with a third-place finish behind Biola and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Hannah Fredericks took the individual win by over 18 seconds, with a time of 20:40.
“It was so sweet to be able to do what we love with our home crowd out there with us,” Fredericks said. “John 13:35 says, ‘By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, by your love for one another.’ The love that believers have for one another was on display in the park this morning, which was amazing to see.”
Fredericks’ ten-second personal best led the way for 14 personal bests and many 6000m debuts. The Mustangs added two other top 15 finishers in Ellen Palmgren (21:34) and Suzie Johnson (21:37), while Sophomore Alyssa Lovett (22:23) set a personal best of over three minutes.
Fredericks said, “We are looking forward to what the Lord has in store for the rest of the season.”
The Mustangs will next travel to Pomona, Calif. to take on top competition in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Oct. 7.