Hayes, Ramirez lead Cross Country at SCIAC Championships

Hayes, Ramirez lead Cross Country at SCIAC Championships

CHINO, Calif. — Bryan Hayes and Andrea Ramirez each posted a top-10 finish in the men's and the women's race, respectively, to lead the University of La Verne cross country teams at the 2014 SCIAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning at Prado Park.

The Leopards had to battle the elements as well as the competition. Due to the rain the night before, the course was already muddy by the start and to make matters worse, it started pouring at the beginning of the men's race.

Despite the tough conditions, La Verne head coach Bryan George said both teams executed well. "Both teams did a good job of executing the race strategy," George said. "We were already planning on a conservative pace early on and the conditions played perfectly into that today. Those who were patient in the few miles looked very strong in the second half of the race."

Hayes, who missed the SCIAC Multi-Duals two weeks ago due to an injury, returned in his normal form and completed the 8k course in 26 minutes, 33.77 seconds to finish ninth.

"Bryan had a great comeback today," George said. "He hasn't raced for over a month, but stepped right back into our top spot and came through in a big way."

Tanner Long was La Verne's second to cross the line and finished 16th with a time of 26:46.16.

Hayes and Long were named All-SCIAC for their top 20 performances.

Ramirez continued her breakout senior season with a third place finish in 23:47.38. That is a 44-place improvement from last year's SCIAC Championships, where she finished 47th with a time of 25:46.03.

"Andrea ran one of the toughest races I've ever seen," George said. "She made several moves to get into the lead over a couple of miles, but just couldn't quite hold it to the end.

"She's solidified herself as one of the top runners in the West Region."

David Sincock notched a top-50 finish on the men's side, finishing 44th with a time of 27:56.22, and Jayden Earlywine came in at 28:15.32 for 53rd place. Alec Franco (28:55.54, 68th), Damon Gomez (29:08.92, 74th) and Ted Breslow (29:16.29, 78th) rounded out the scoring for the men.

Kamalei Lee was the second finisher for the women, coming in 44th with a time of 26:15.25. Sarah Chang finished 70th at 27:53.92, Jacquie Scherrer was 77th (28:30.67) and Danica Langaynor 82nd (28:39.58). Samantha Reed and Summer O'Brien rounded out the women's scoring with a 92nd (29:46.38) and a 97th finish (30:27.57), respectively.

The men's squad finished fifth overall at the meet with 146 points and finishes seventh in the SCIAC season. The women recorded 190 points to finish eighth at the meet and comes in eight in SCIAC overall.

"I was proud of the way they handled themselves," George added. "It was unlike anything we've raced this year and lots of teams would have found an excuse today, but they really used the conditions to their advantage."

La Verne will get two weeks to get ready for the NCAA West Regional meet in Salem, Ore., on Nov. 15.

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