As times in both the men's and women's cross country events in the California Pacific Conference continue to drop each season, last fall the Cal Pac's men's cross country runners posted seven of the top ten all-time 8k individual best marks, including the three fastest races recorded in conference history. That trend is not likely to slow down this season as two of the three runners to post top-ten times return to competition in 2017.
Soka University of America's Jack Evans turned in two of the top three times in Cal Pac history, running a 24:26 in last September's Biola Invitational, and then three weeks later clocking a 24:59 at the Charles Bowles Invitational. Evans, the top runner in the Cal Pac in 2015 and the runner-up last year, returns for his final season with the Lions.
The second-best mark posted last year was Antelope Valley's Anass Zouhry's 24:45 time at the Titan Invitational in October. Zouhry, a graduate student at UAV last year who will not be competing in 2017, won the Cal Pac title with a 25:22 race, and he also ran a 25:25 at the Cougar Challenge (edging Evans at the finish line) to record three of the fastest conference times.
Evans and Zouhry each accounted for three of the top 10 times in conference history, and Embry-Riddle junior Jordan Bramblett added the seventh--a 25:11 finish at the Bronco Invitational that stands as the fifth-fastest time in the Cal Pac.
In the women's 5k event, ERAU's Keili Dorn is coming off a freshman campaign in which she posted two of the top ten times in Cal Pac history. Dorn won the conference meet with an 18:33 effort, slicing one second off her previous best time of 18:34 at the Mustang Challenge at the beginning of October.
Friday, September 1
NATURE'S BAKERY NEVADA TWILIGHT CROSS COUNTRY CLASSIC, at Sparks, Nev.
In the annual "Cross Country Under the Lights" run hosted by Nevada, Simpson's Marcella Baker covered the 4k course in 19:27 while Sierra Nevada's Mihaela Kosi turned in her team's top time with a 19:57 run.
In the men's 5k, SNC's Jose Ortiz finished in 18:02, and Kevin Alcosiba clocked a 20:10 to lead SU.
Embry-Riddle's women's squad ran to a 2nd place finish in the seven-team 2.6 mile Open Division. Keili Dorn crossed in 16:39.2 to place 5th in the field of 60 runners. Teammates Emma Lewis (17:13.5) and Jessica Embro (17:17.6) came in 9th and 10th place, respectively.
In the men's 4.5 mile race, ERAU turned in the top time in the seven-team race. Jordan Bramblett and Matthew Siegel crossed the finish line in 6th and 7th place, completing the course with 24:39.0 and 24:44 times. The Eagles had four runners in the top 14 finishers of the 70-runner field.