SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — With another meet just a week away, the Cal Lutheran Cross Country program put strategy at the forefront for the Master's Invitational, Saturday morning. Rigoberto Baza Carillo and Nikita Khromets paced the Kingsmen while Rachel Ereso led the Regals on the Central Park course.
"The focus for today was on executing a more conservative start to the race and really attacking the second half so we can finish strong. Everyone executed that plan extremely well and worked together throughout the race, which was shown through multiple runners finishing side-by-side with one another," explained cross country coach Brett Halvaks.
Previously known as the Mustang Challenge, this is the first time Cal Lutheran has participated in the race since 2015, which since has changed its course at Central Park.
Regardless of unfamiliar territory, Baza Carillo (27:43.3) and Khromets (27.43.4) continued to lead the Kingsmen, finishing alongside one another at 70th and 71st, respectively, in the men's open division featuring athletes from Division I to NAIA levels.
Also finishing within the half hour mark, Henry Friederichs finished in 83rd at 28.13.8, Rudy Correa in 104th at 29.59.4 and Luke VanKeersbilck in 105th at 30:00.0. Not far behind them, Jules Newberry crossed the line at 31:26.3 (109th), Xavier Reynoso at 31:53.5 (111th), Connor Richter at 35.27.2 (172nd) and Dillan Barmache at 35:58.4 (174th).
On the women's side, Ereso, Veronica Redpath and Caroline Slate led the pack, all three coming in within 15 seconds of one another. Ereso finished in 78th at 20:05.7, Redpath in 82nd at 20:13.6 and Slate in 84th at 20:18.1.
"I believe we accomplished our goal of getting better today and we are looking forward to a fast race next weekend at Pomona Pitzer," said Halvak. Cross Country heads to Claremont, Calif., next Saturday, October 6, for the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.
Meet Results: Master's Invitational
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director