Perfect mix of youth and experience

Lutheran University’s men and women’s cross country teams competed in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Multi­Duals on Oct. 17 in La Mirada Park in La Mirada, California.

The SCIAC Multi­Dual carries 25 percent of the points that go into the overall standing and the other 75 percent come from the upcoming SCIAC Championship meet, according to CLUsports.com.

The Regals finished 2­6th as a team, according to CLUsports.com. The first Cal Lutheran runner to make it across the finish line was Sarah Parsons who ran the 5K course in 24:05.76. Coming in second out of the Regals was Hannah Yoho with a time of 24:56.27. Even though it was her first SCIAC meet, Erin Knight came in third with a scoring time of 25:24.79. Sarah Girgis landed in fourth with a time of 25:39.68, beating her time on this course last year by two seconds. Katie Young improved her time by finishing a minute faster this year than last year with a time of 25:39.688.
Although the Regals lost several seniors in the spring, they have been training hard to make up for that, according to junior Lauren Chrislu.

“Coming as a younger team, a lot of people are kind of underestimating us so our whole motto for this season has been to ‘surprise the SCIAC.’ We’re just trying to work really hard despite the fact that we lost a lot of girls last year,” Chrislu said. “But I think because we’re working really hard, we’re going to make up some of the difference.”

The men’s team also came in at 2­6th in the SCIAC Multi­Duals. The fastest Kingsmen was Garrett 
Baker who ran a time of 27:32.81 as the 36th man across the finish line. This was his first time competing this season after nursing a calf injury.

Ryan Perez came in second with a time of 27:25.84, lowering his time from last year by 25 seconds. Nick Privitelli improved his 2014 time by 31 seconds with a time of 28.01.96, the third fastest time of the Kingsmen. The fourth fastest score was Timmy Kahovec who came in at 28:22.63, and the final scoring position went to senior David Avila with a time of 29:09.79, according to CLUsports.com.

The men’s team is comprised of many seniors this year, which the Kingsmen hope they can use to their advantage, according to Avila. This was Avila’s fourth time running the hilly La Mirada course.

“I hope we can get top five in conference this year. It’s definitely achievable because we lost one guy last year and we have a pretty old team. I think there’s five seniors, and plus there’s Garrett Baker who’s a fifth-year senior,” Avila said. “He was our top guy last year who’s coming back from being hurt. This is his first race though so that will help us out a lot.”

Although the men’s team has older players, the women’s team is relatively young according to Assistant Coach Brett Halvaks.

“The women are a young team and there are no seniors so we’ve kind of gone into it as a developmental year,” Halvaks said. “Our goal is to get better every race going forward and to see how many teams we can knock off at the last SCIAC meet. There’s really no pressure this year but last year we had like five seniors on the team so last year’s women’s team is kind of like this year’s men’s team where there are all these expectations.”

Coming into the race, Halvaks hoped this meet would give him a clearer idea of where the men’s team stood.

“On the men’s side I hope to see just where we are health wise.We’ve been banged up a lot this year,” Halvaks said. “We have 12 guys on the team and the last race we only had eight running. We haven’t had all 12 be in the same race together all year and Saturday we’re on pace to have that for the first time so it will be really nice to see the whole team out there together and see where we’re at because it’s kind of hard to tell.”

However beyond this race there are high hopes for SCIAC Championships and the rest of the season.

“In the eight years I’ve known the team, this is by far the deepest men’s team we’ve had. So I’m definitely excited to see what they can do,” Halvaks said. “And since women are young, it’s really fun to coach them because they’re not set in their ways which is really nice for a coach because I can give them tips and they’re really receptive to that. So I’m looking forward to improvements on both teams.”

Cal Lutheran will be preparing the next two weeks for the SCIAC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Prado Park in Chino Hills, California.

Alexandra Randall
Staff Writer
Published October 21st, 2015