SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – The freshmen continued to lead the way for the Chapman University cross country teams at The Master's Invitational on Saturday. Rookies paced the squads in both the men's and women's races.
In a field of teams from all divisions of the NCAA and the NAIA, the young Panthers faced another tough test. The women took 16th out 31 teams while the men's team finished 21st of 28.
Freshman Jacob Millen was the Panthers top finisher for the third meet in a row on the men's side. He ran a 27:09 to take 77th overall. Freshman Aiden White and Anthony Hart nearly finished side-by-side as the next Panthers to cross the finish line at 27:48.7 and 27:49.0, respectively. It was a 26-second personal-best for White and a 48-second PR for Hart.
Sophomore Jose Guerrero ran a 28:01.9 and senior Drake Butler rounded out the team scoring with a 28:45.8. Four of the Panthers final seven runners finished the 8k with a personal-best time as the team continues to build.
Freshman Olivia Armstrong had another strong race in pacing the women's team with a 19:08. She turned in another personal-best, dropping eight seconds off her best time to take 51st overall. Freshman Maddie Mirro took 78th overall with a time 19:31 and junior Emma Eglinton ran a personal-best 19:56 in the 5k race.
A season-best for freshman Gabriella Lee at 19:58 and a 20:18 for freshman Audrey James rounded out the team scoring. In total, four of the nine Panthers running this weekend finished with a personal-best time.
"This group continues to excite us," commented head coach D'Andra'e Woods. "Regardless of the name on the opposing teams' chest these Panthers are rising to the occasion."
Distance coach Barron Maizland added, "Even with a tough training cycle, our group still continues to drop times race by race. We can now start to focus on tightening the screws for the second half of the season."
The Panthers are off next week but return to the course on Oct. 12 for the Pomona-Pitzer Invite.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director