Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Open Season at Pepperdine Invitational
Men’s Cross Country
Senior Isaiah Thompson kicked off the ‘Eaters season in great fashion, leading all UCI competitors on the Men’s team with a third place finish at the Pepperdine Invitational Thursday in Malibu.
Thompson clocked in at 16:03.17 behind Long Beach’s Kevin Ramirez, who finished in 15:59.03, and Pepperdine’s Nick Heath, who won the event at 15:44.04.
A few ‘Eaters trailed Thompson, snagging the fourth, fifth, and sixth places of the 5,000 meter course. Sophomore Branden Randall crossed the finish line in 16:05.37 as junior Izzak Mireles trailed him by a few seconds at 16:07.13. Freshman Hector Garcia posted a 16:10.53 finish in his first collegiate meet.
Freshman Samuel Ayala and senior David Aguilar rounded out the ‘Eaters top 10 finishers with the eighth and ninth slots after pushing for 16:13.96 and 16:14.43 respectively.
UCI collectively went on a tear, going 2-0 over host Pepperdine and Long Beach State on the evening thanks largely in part by the efforts of Thompson, Randall, Mireles, and Garcia.
Women’s Cross Country
Senior Marisa Gonzalez earned a fifth place finish with a time of 15:36.34 Thursday evening at Alumni Park, helping the ‘Eaters top Long Beach State, host Pepperdine, and CSU Bakersfield to go 3-1 at the invitational. UCI’s sole loss was in the hands of USC, who was led by sophomore Madison Ricks—the individual winner of the race at 15:14.37.
Gonzalez was trailed by freshman Anastasia Karnaze, who recorded a respectable 15:46.56 finish to snag the sixth spot of the event in her first outing as an Anteater.
Karnaze emerged as the top finisher at the event among UCI’s freshman class, which also finished with notable times. Keely Boyd finished in 11th (16:04.31) followed by Veronica Lopez, who finished in 14th (16:27.50), while Brenda Dorantes took 18th (16:38.40).
Sophomore Megan Mirkhanian came in at eighth with a time of 15:57.62 to close out runners in the top 10 for UCI.
Both men’s and women’s cross country will return to the field on September 17th at the UC Riverside Invitational.