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Cross Country - Sat, Sep. 17, 2016 - posted by Seth Preuss
HIU put six runners on the course at UCR
HIU put six runners on the course at UCR

RIVERSIDE, CA - Hope International competed in its second races of the 2016 season on both the men's and women's sides on Saturday, September 17 at the UC Riverside Invitational on the UCR Agricultural Operations course. Neither team fielded enough runners for a team score in the event but both squads showed improvement on their times from the previous race at the Mark Covert Classic.

Siena Rivera came through the tape first for the Royals in the 5000 Meter Open with a time of 20:58.77. Ruby Medina made her debut for the Royals with a time of 21:55.01 in her first race and crossed the time line second for HIU. Ronda Ackley was the last runner through the line for the Royals at 23:58.74.

On the men's side of things Brian Tressler (SR/Lake Forest, CA) came through the tape first for HIU at 26:05.69 as the 89th runner through the line out of 331 runners. Justin Torres (JR/Alhambra, CA) was next for the Royals at 27:25.57 and Matthew Herrera (JR/Brea, CA) came through the tape at 31:13.02 to round out the field for HIU in the men's 8000 Meter Invitational.

Ackley shaved 15 seconds off her time at the Mark Covert Classic for the women's team. Torres showed the most improvement of all HIU runners by lopping 22 seconds off his time at the previous race. Herrera and Medina each competed in their first race of the season for HIU.

"Today's meet was loaded with some solid Division I & Division II teams," Coach Dan Whittington said after the race. "In the men's race there were 392 runners. The course was all dirt with a few small hills but mostly flat. The men's plan was to go out a little more aggressive than our last race. Our first mile was really fast and it made the second half really tough for them. We did that to get used to a quick early pace so that they are ready for anything come conference. Justin Torres really ran a strong race improving quite a bit from last week."

"The women's race was large as well with 250 runners," Coach Whittington commented. "Division I #12 Arkansas took it out fast and dominated for the win. Biola was 2nd with a strong showing. Our ladies plan was to be more conservative early and come back with a strong second half. Ruby Medina ran well as did Ronda Ackley both improving from last race. Medina ran unattached last race."

The Royals will be back on the course in two weeks on Oct. 1 at The Master's Mustang Challenge in Santa Clarita before taking a three-week break from competition. The Mustang Challenge and the Titan Invitational on Oct. 21 are the last two competitions for HIU before GSAC Championships on Nov. 5.

M - Cross Country