ANGWIN, Calif- Pioneers men's and women's cross country teams began the new season, hosting the 2017 Pioneer Invitational at Pacific Union College. The Pioneers men's and women's teams looked to set the pace for their season and matched up against five other teams, UC Santa Cruz, Dominican, Simpson, CalMaritime and La Sierra, placing fourth in both the men's and women's races.
The women's 5K and men's 8K course, run clockwise for the first time, wove through the forested PUC back forty, challenging the runners with loose soil, steep hills, rocks and roots.
Sophomore Eric Daniels (SO/Placerville, CA) was the top runner for the men's team, recording a time of 32:45, good for 17th place. Debut runner Pablo Garrido (FR/Fresno, CA) finished a few minutes behind Daniels, posting a strong time for the Freshman in 34:37, finishing in 23rd place. Senior Stephaan Dick (SR/Angwin, CA) finished close behind, finishing in 35:06.4, good for 25th place. Micah Spegman (SR/Tucson, AZ), Naphtali Marin and Espen Scarbrough (FR/Paradise, CA) ended strong for the hosts, finishing together with times of 38:27, 38:40, and 39:02 respectively. UC Santa Cruz runner, Solomon Reinman led the race in 29:14, starting the course record.Thanks to the collective efforts of the team's runners, the Pioneers were able to run an average time of 34:09 placing them at fourth for the invitational.
The women's team put together a respectable outing as well. Senior Dirce Tatiana Pliego (SR/Pasadena, CA) began the season strong, placing, 10th, finishing in 25:53, just a few minutes away from the fastest individual time, posted by La Sierra's Jennifer Gonzalez at 22:57. Kiren Moore (SR/Mariposa, CA) and Erika Thalman (SR/Jamestown, CA ) finished 17th and 19th, posting times of 27:52 and 28:40 respectively. Runners Fatima Sosa (JR/Angwin, CA), Prindid Montoya (JR/Newbury, CA) and Madeline Chung (SO/Redlands, CA), finished close together in position, posting times of 29:57, 30:33 and 35:26 respectively, helping the team to a 27:28.3 average time, good for fourth overall.
The Pioneers cross country teams will travel south to participate in the La Sierra Invitational on October 13, at 8:00 am.