STANFORD, Calif. — The University of La Verne men's and women's cross country teams ran their third race of the season on Saturday at the prestigious Stanford Invitational. The fast course was an important race for the Leopards, giving them the opportunity to see their hard work pay off and many ran season bests.
Chris Arcos led the men's team in the 8-kilometer race for the third week in a row with a time of 26 minutes, 47.6 seconds. Following Arcos was Samuel Johnny running an impressive race with a season best of 27:01. Tanner Long finished close behind Johnny at 27:22.6 and Antonio Rivera ran a fantastic race with a season best of 27:25.5.
"We had two big breakthrough performances for the men with Sam and Tony," says head coach Bryan George. "We still haven't put it all together at the same race, but there was some encouraging signs today."
Rounding out the men's lineup were Mario Martinez with a time of 27:38.3, Marcelo Arcos at 27:40.7 and Joel Sincock with a time of 29:14.7.
On the women's side, Rachael Dela Cruz competed in her first 6k and led the way with an impressive time of 23:11.9.
"It was the first 6k for several of the girls and they handled it well," George said. "The biggest thing I wanted to see was more consistent pacing and I definitely saw that play out."
Finishing behind Dela Cruz was Melissa Cerrillos with a time of 25:21.7 and Emily Nguyen at 29:09.0. Despite having only three of the seven women competing at Stanford, the women are confident about the upcoming SCIAC Multi-Dual meet.
"Although we were missing a few girls, I think the team did a really good job staying motivated," Dela Cruz said. "We were all really excited to race at Stanford and today we noticed our hard work paying off. I think we are ready and confident to show the SCIAC what La Verne is made of."
The Leopards have a two-week break before SCIAC Muti-Duals on Oct. 17 at La Mirada. This break will give them the opportunity to continue their hard work and get ready for the championship season. "We've learned some things about ourselves in these first few meets that will serve us well in the upcoming SCIAC meets," says George. "I'm excited to see what we can do."