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Cross Country - Sat, Oct. 1, 2016 - posted by Seth Preuss
Brian Tressler and Siena Rivera kept their positions as HIU front-runners at TMU
Brian Tressler and Siena Rivera kept their positions as HIU front-runners at TMU

SANTA CLARITA, CA – The Royals travelled to Santa Clarita on Saturday, October 1 for The Mustang Challenge hosted by The Master's. Neither team posted a team score but Brian Tressler (SR/Lake Forest, CA) ran well for the men and finished 36th in a 121-runner field while the women's team battled through injuries on a tough course.

Tressler came through the finish line first for HIU at 26:28.4 in a pack that included runners from The Master's and CSU San Marcos – his time was good enough for a top 40 finish in 36th. Justin Torres (JR/Alhambra, CA) completed the eight-kilometer course at 28:08.6 and Matthew Herrera (JR/Brea, CA) was the last runner across for HIU at 31:11.7.

Coach Dan Whittington remarked after the race that, "The course was a much tougher course today than the two previous courses this season. Today's course was 85% dirt paths, 15% grass. 60% rolling terrain and 40% flat. The women's course had one sizeable hill and the men's had two sizeable hill portions."

Siena Rivera (JR/Kingsburg, CA) was the first HIU runner to cross the finish line at 22:01.5 on the women's five-kilometer course steps ahead of a runner from Embry-Riddle (AZ). Ruby Medina (JR/Venice Beach, CA) and Ronda Ackley (SR/Hemet, CA) were eight runners behind and finished seconds apart – Medina crossed the line at 23:23.7 and Ackley was the next runner through at 23:26.2.

Coach Whittington picked out two runners in particular who showed improvement from the previous course, saying "Matt ran only two seconds faster than his previous best this season but is a good sign since it was on a tougher course. Ronda had a huge improvement of 32 seconds today. She raced with a lot of confidence today and was passing women the entire second half. This is a sign of good things to come the rest of the season for Ronda."

Coach Whittington also praised the mental toughness of Rivera and Medina, "Siena and Ruby ran tough today while battling injuries."

The Royals have two races left on the schedule for the 2016 season – HIU will head across the street at Nutwood Avenue to run in the Titan Invitational hosted by CSU Fullerton on Oct. 21 before wrapping up the regular season at the GSAC Championships. The GSAC Championships will be hosted by William Jessup at Johnson Springview Park for the first time on Nov. 5.

M - Cross Country