Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Whittier College Men's and Women's Cross Country teams continue to improve placing 5th and 6th, respectively, of 13 teams at the Pomona Invitational. Whittier's 4th (KamRon Perry (San Jose, Calif.)) and 5th (David Del Carmen (Huntington Beach, Calif.)) males closed some gaps and the Poet 2nd (Jessica Iribe) and 5th (Esmeralda Martinez) females were upside surprises. While the top seven per team are all important scorers in the sport of cross country, Coach Greg Phillips credited the aforementioned foursome the most for the positive team results.
Individually, former Poet distance star Luis Ibarra ('02), racing unattached, and junior Julian Sandoval (El Monte, Calif.) took the lead from the gun and paced one another throughout most of the course. Ibarra crossed the line 3rd overall while Sandoval surged home for the win. Poet freshman Benjamin White (La Habra Heights, Calif.) was not far behind placing 10th among collegiate competitors, setting a Poet freshman course record in the process.
The women's race found seniors Julissa Tobias (Norwalk, Calif.) and Jessica Iribe (Buena Park, Calif.) claiming podium finishes in 5th and 6th place. Iribe established an early fast pace staying close to the leaders. Tobias shadowed Iribe until later in the race. Both seniors experimented with pacing and strategies in preparation for the NCAA West Regional which will be raced on the same course.
The cross country teams will next focus on mid-semester exams before travelling to the mountains for some altitude training, during mid-semester break, in preparation for SCIAC Championships on October 28.