Posted: Oct 22, 2019
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs were among 23 women's cross country teams and 21 men's cross country teams competing at Saturday's University of California-Riverside Highlander Invite.
Racing against mostly NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II squads, the TLU Women finished 21st out of 23 teams with a team score of 591.
The TLU Men raced three student-athletes and did not qualify for the team standings. Five runners are needed to score in the event.
"Fall Break was good to us," said Darlene Holland, TLU's head coach for women's and men's cross country. "The weather and competition in Southern California is great for cross country running. We came away with most of the team running PRs, even with hills in the course."
"Perfect temperatures for both the men's and women's races and having a large volume of people to race were what we were looking for, and the meet at UC Riverside didn't disappoint. I know that both genders were a little intimidated by a lot of the Division 1 teams, but once the gun went off, they just got in there and ran hard.
The women's race was contest over 6 kilometers. The men's race was an 8K.
Senior Kylee Garcia finished in the top 80 in a field of 207. Garcia was 76th overall with a time of 23 minutes, 5.29 seconds. Fellow senior Ashley Rynard was 134th with a time of 24:32.11.
Mackenzie Payne, Jackie Garcia, Julia Maciel came home in 171st, 184th, and 193rd, respectively.
"I know that there were a lot of smiles after the race, and that's the most important thing," said Holland. "Some of the PRs were huge drops in time, and some were just by a few seconds, but it always feels good to better yourself each week, and that's what we've been doing as the season progresses."
"Some of the women ran PRs last week in a 5K, and then turned around and ran that time or faster through the 5K mark en route to finishing a 6K this week. It shows that we are definitely sharpening up for the conference championship meet in two weeks."
For the men, Koby Green led the Bulldogs with a finish of 218th with a time of 30:22.18. Christopher Torres and Hector Hornedo crossed the line in 223rd and 231st, respectively.
Next up for the Bulldogs is the 2019 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships, hosted by Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. The meet takes place on Saturday, Nov. 2.