Runners pick up pace at invitational

Campus Times
September 24, 1999


by Enrique Gutiérrez
Staff Writer

The 56th annual Aztec Cross Country Invitational was not an easy test for the University of La Verne's cross country team.

The men finished 13th and the women finished 10th.

"They are a strong team, there are many freshmen that are really strong," said assistant coach Katrina Hall. "It's just the start of the season and they're already showing great improvement.

"What's exciting to me is that we have more people than other years," said head coach Pat Widolff. "Now we have 24 people practicing. Two years ago we only had six people."

Freshman Ryan Scott-Acosta led the men, finishing the 5-mile race in 29:34, placing 45th. Freshman Brandon Becerra was the second-best Leopard, getting to the finish line in 68th place by stopping the watch at 31:46.

"Ryan is definitely our lead guy," Hall said. "He is running to his potential and has much more to come."

Junior Faust Obeso was the next to finish for ULV at 33:37, a time the coaches expect him to improve on.

"Faust was hit by a car during the spring, so he couldn't run during the summer," said Widolff.

The other La Verne runners were freshman Calvin Becerra (34:41), junior Kyle Young (35:14) and junior Dan Kiminki (37:12).

CSU San Marcos dominated the men's race placing three runners in the top 10.

For the women, junior Leti Arroyo and freshman Stephanie Pedroza were the only Leopards to beat the 21-minute mark in the three-mile race.

Arroyo finished in 19th place in 20:30. Pedroza finished 13 seconds behind Arroyo, in 26th.

Freshman Erika Schatz finished 50th in 21:26. Freshman Beverly Samano posted a 23:10, good for 84th place.

Sophomore Quency Long, senior Lyn Merrill, sophomore Trisha Garcia and junior Mary Terry rounded out ULV's squad.

"These girls are very competitive," Hall said.

"The good thing about the women is that we have three or four runners within two or three minutes from each other," said Widolff. "A good team will have five runners within one minute."

The runners have two goals for the season, according to Hall.

"Pretty much every body wants to set a personal record," said Halo, "and as a team place in the top three in conference."