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Cross Country - Sat, Sep. 30, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Joe Tobin was the top runner for the HIU men (Photo by Dan Whittington)
Joe Tobin was the top runner for the HIU men (Photo by Dan Whittington)

SANTA CLARITA, CA – Hope International ran in the Mustang Challenge, a top cross country event in Southern California hosted by GSAC foe The Master's, on Saturday, Sept. 30. HIU put six runners on the course between the men and women and was unable to score as a team on either side, but there were some highlight performances that highlighted the growth Coach Dan Whittington's staff has been working to foster.

Daphne Salomon finished first for the HIU women and put her name on the Royals' Top 25 times list once again with a 19:39.2 finish for HIU. Tabitha Abbey also put her name on the Top 25 list again with a 20:07.2 finish for the Royals.

On the men's side, Joe Tobin continued his chase for the top time in program history and came up shy of the mark – however, his finish of 26:21.1 is still good enough to place in the Top 10 on the all-time list and put him at 44th in the Challenge field.

Anthony Ramos was the next across for HIU at 27:34.8 in 94th overall – despite the hilly course that proved slower than others HIU has run this season, Ramos still managed to shave 19 seconds off his previous personal best.

Ray Barela was the third HIU runner to finish at 27:53.7 in 102nd overall, and Gabriel Barazetti brought up the rear for the Royals at 31:56.9 as the 152nd overall finisher. Barazetti ran just his second career race for HIU at the Challenge and shaved more than a minute off his previous time for a massive improvement over his previous personal best as an equal testament to his hard work and Whittington's coaching.

"Overall, both sides ran today considering the tough course," Coach Whittington said after the races concluded. "I was glad to see that we competed well against the other GSAC schools – Master's, Westmont, Menlo, and William Jessup."

After today's races the Royals will have two more chances to show their growth on the cross country course before the GSAC Championships hosted by Vanguard on Nov. 4 in Orange at Irvine Regional Park.

M - Cross Country