IRVINE, Calif. — The University of La Verne cross country teams competed against a strong field of runners across all levels in the adidas/UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday.
Four La Verne women recorded their personal bests. Andrea Ramirez paced the team with a big 44-second personal record, crossing the line 18th with a time of 19 minutes, 14.1 seconds in the five-kilometer course. Ramirez's performance was all the more impressive given the top nine finishers in the women's field were from Arkansas, which is ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division I.
"[Ramirez] has made a big jump this year," said La Verne head coach Bryan George. She got in the mix today with some of the better runners in the SCIAC."
Sophomore Jacquie Scherrer also had big day, finishing in 22:21.4 and beating her previous record by more than a minute and 20 seconds. Kamalei Lee (20:48.5, 69th) and Andrea Valdez (21:37.9, 92nd) also notched personal records.
Despite four personal records, George says the team still needs to work on pack running.
"On an individual level, we're seeing a lot of progress, but our race execution still needs some work. It's harder to stay together in a big meet and we learned that today."
As a team, the women finished 12th as a team with 334 total points.
The men struggled on Saturday after winning the Redlands Invitational last week.
"The course was deceptively slow," George said. "The grass was fairly wet and there were two decent-sized hills that took a lot out of the runners."
Senior Jayden Earlywine led the La Verne pack with a 40th-place finish, completing the 8k course in 27:36.4.
Earlywine, who notched a top-10 finish last week, has impressed the coaching staff. "Jayden has had two very good races in a row now," George said. "He's really matured as a distance runner and you can sense his confidence when he competes."
Bryan Hayes was right behind Earlywine at 27:40.3 and Tanner Long took 47th with a time of 27:59.7. Freshman Alec Franco finished 54th at 28:21.6.
The Leopards will get an extended downtime before resuming action on Sept. 27 at Stanford Invitational against another strong field of runners.
"Both teams know what we need to do and we'll get another opportunity to improve at Stanford in a few weeks," George said.Follow La Verne Athletics on Twitter @ULV_Athletics Like La Verne Athletics on Facebook Follow La Verne Athletics on Instagram @ULV_Athletics Sign up for our newsletter