Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Whittier College men's and women's cross country teams put out a strong effort in the UCR Invitational as they elected to race in the very competitive invitational divisions.
With this decision, Coach Phillips felt it would be a good test for both teams in order to test themselves against Div. I programs and a Claremont-M-S women's team that will end up competing for a National Championship this year.
Coach Phillips explained that "had we gone with our top runners in the open division, as some of the other SCIAC schools did, team results would have been very impressive, but we opted for the challenge of Div. I/NAIA competition."
On the women's side, Whittier entered seven in the 5k open race, while four men competed in the 8k open race. A lot of the team members raced to all-time bests on a dirt/flat course that isn't their strong suit, since a majority of the Poets do well on grass/hilly courses. But Coach Phillips was pleased with the results.
Michele Callaway, the Poets top women's runner raced to a 61st place finish with a time of 22:14.8. But other impressive finishes included Christine Verduzco who finished 82nd with a time of 22:34.6, and Adrianna Davidek who finished 87th with a time of 22:41.1.
A couple other personal bests included Eva Aguilar who finished 101st with a time of 22:57.0 and Jessica Serrano who finished 109th with a time of 23:04.8.
On the men's side, freshman Marco Godinez paced the Poets with an 81st place finish with a time of 25:43.0. But major improvements came from Daniel Brody who finished 178th with a time of 27:06.0, and freshman Javier Banuelos and Sultan Bishop who raced to times of 27:27.7 and 27:48.8.
The purple and gold return to race at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational that takes place on Saturday, October 1 beginning at 8:00am.