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By HPU Athletics. September 1, 2014 - 11:23 am
The Hawai’i Pacific Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams opened up its seasons in Vulcan territory on Saturday. The Sharks men’s team finished in third place, while the women’s team finished in second. Defending PacWest Runner of the Year Fiona McKenna finished in 3rd place individually.
In the scorching hot weather of Hilo, Meghan Fairchild came out with a bang in her Sharks debut running a time of 19:42 which placed her 6th in the 5k race. However, she was not the only one making an impressive debut, Allison Carone (12th) and Cassandra Borton (23rd) also ran well for the first time at HPU. They were joined by veterans Marissa Kunsch (7th), Gabrielle Wisot (20th), Taylor Sinn (24th) and McKenna, who ran a 19:18. McKenna fell just short of second place in a sprint against a runner from regional powerhouse Alaska-Anchorage.
In the men’s race, Rickey Oschner (18th) managed to out kick Jorge Cisneros of Chaminade in the last 15 meters of the race. Along with Oschner, Paul Tucker (27th), Mark Mojarro (32nd) and Samuel Dominguez (34th) made their debut in the early morning race. The Sharks were led by veterans Cody Bartlett (12th), Yeltsen Vasquez (20th), and Leandro Santillan, who led the shiver of Sharks placing 9th with a time of 16:06.
Despite not having three of their top five runners available, the Sharks pulled off a third place finish ahead of Messiah by six points and trailing BYU-Hawaii by 13.
Head Coach Jorge Medina commented on the team’s performance, “I am happy to see that our teams can compete with a top team in the region, as strong as Alaska. With that said, we still have a lot of work to put in before we are ready for conference and regionals.” Commenting on the reason for not bringing the other three top runners for the men’s team and two top runners on the women’s, “I wanted to give the new runners experience in a collegiate race, the other runners will begin their 2014 next week in Alaska.”
Both Squads will return to action on September 6th in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Photo by Eric Alcantara.