Thursday, October 05, 2017

Bears Hit Their Stride

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.– California's cross-country team was back in action this weekend, with the Joe Piane Invitational in South Bend, Ind. on Friday and the Capital Cross Challenge in Sacramento, Calif. on Saturday. Both Bears teams placed seventh overall in Indiana as they outran multiple ranked teams.

Bethan Knights led the women to their seventh place finish in her first race of the year, placing fifth  (16:18.6) out of 200+ runners in a race full of the nation's elite. Freshman Brie Oakley followed right behind Knights, placing 12th (16:40.6) in her first collegiate meet.

For the men, senior Trent Brendel commanded the team with a 12th place finish (24:03.8).

"Today was a great day for the women and men", said Houlihan. "We finished higher in both of the races than we did a year ago and beat some ranked teams by doing so. Brie and Beth did a nice job of running together up front while the rest of the women packed up and ran close together, executing the race plan. The men followed the women's lead with very solid races. The men ran smooth and easy with each other through 5,000 meters then started working their way up. Both teams walked away with invaluable experience that will spur them on to more great performances in the weeks to come. Jordyn Colter and John Hogan had great breakthroughs today. Their poise and maturity were huge for both teams success today."

At the Capital Cross Challenge in Sacramento, Bears saw some of their younger runners take strides in their collegiate careers. Max Leach and Nuria Tio Peig led their respective teams to notable finishes.

The Bears have two weeks until their next meet weekend. California will return to the Midwest to compete in the Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, while others will travel to Santa Clara to participate in the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.

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