BREA, Calif. — The University of La Verne cross country teams kicked off their seasons against a tough field at the annual Mark Covert Classic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton, on Saturday at Carbon Canyon Regional Park.
A pair of freshman led the way for La Verne. Christopher Arcos was the top Leopard finisher on the men's side, completing the 8-kilometer course in 27 minutes, 29.30 seconds to come in 68th. In the women's race, Rachael Dela Cruz paced the Leopards with a 48th place finish at 20:02.96.
The Leopards had a total of six freshmen in the women's race. Melissa Cerrillos was La Verne's second finisher at 22:21.33 and Miranda Chavez (23:34.54), Emily Nguyen (24:51.56) and Daisy Perez (25:23.17) all competed in their first collegiate races.
"We had a lot of runners experiencing their first collegiate race, so just getting out and doing it once will teach them a lot," La Verne head coach Bryan George said. "Our main goal today was to emphasize pack running, especially early in the race. It'll take some time to develop our team chemistry in competitions, but I thought we did reasonably well for our first time racing together."
David Sincock followed Arcos closely behind in 75th place (27:31.10) on the men's side and returning All-West Region Tanner Long finished 82nd with a time of 27:52.22. Christopher's twin brother Marcelo Arcos ran a 27:58.59 to finish 88th and Mario Martinez was right behind him at 28:02.90.
Both the men and the women finished 10th as a team.
The Leopards will get only a week off before they head to UC Riverside next Saturday.
"We have a quick turnaround at UC-Riverside next weekend," George said. "I'm looking forward to seeing them make adjustments and improve."