Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LA MIRADA, Calif. - The Whittier College Men's and Women's cross country teams opened their conference schedule racing all eight opponents at La Mirada Regional Park on Friday afternoon.
Whittier's distance runners matched all mile-for-mile but limited team depth accounted for a couple of close losses. The men split with the conference scoring a 4-4 SCIAC record. The ladies posted a 3-5 result. "We had a challenging but realistic goal of 5-3, for both the men and women, but it could easily have gone 1-7 had it not been for a lot of fine racing today," explained Head Coach Greg Phillips. "The result wasn't a home run but we didn't strike out either." The results are weighted at 33% of the conference standings. Of greater significance is SCIAC Championships on October 28 when the Poet harriers will find opportunity to race past one or more teams in the conference.
Leading the men's scoring on the extremely hilly 8000m course was junior Julian Sandoval (El Monte, Calif.) (2nd place of 113 finishers), freshman Benjamin White (La Habra Heights, Calif.) (14th place and 2nd among freshmen), and sophomore William Howells (Webster Grove, Calif.) (29th place). Leading the women's scoring on the challenging 6000m course was senior Julissa Tobias (Norwalk, Calif.) (5th place of 119 finishers), Jessica Iribe (Buena Park, Calif.) (15th place), and Anahy Covarrubias (Los Angeles, Calif.) (30th place).
In addition, exceptional year-to-year improvements were achieved by senior KamRon Perry (San Jose, Calif.) (55 seconds faster than 2016), Melissa Tobias (Norwalk, Calif.) (60 seconds faster), Jessica McCollum (Engleton, CO) (74 seconds faster) and Dan'Nyce Worthy-Mays (Ontario, Calif.) (181 seconds faster).
The Poets will get back into competition at the NCAA West Regional preview meet October 14 on the campus of Pomona College.