Sacramento State cross country came up big at the Mustang Challenge at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita Saturday. Jacob Huston and Chloe Berlioux led the way once again as the Hornets finished third in the men’s 8K and first in the women’s 5K.
Berlioux was in command for the Hornet women, finishing third overall in the 5K with a time of 18:24.4. She edged out fourth-place finisher Kelly Collins of Westmont by .2 seconds, passing Collins on the home stretch.
The women finished the 5K with a team score of 49. Cal State San Marcos came in second with a score of 55.
On the men’s side, Huston had the fastest time overall in the 8K, finishing the course in 25:46.0. Huston had an almost 14-second margin of victory over second-place finisher Daniel Ramirez of Cal State Fullerton, who finished with a time of 25:59.6.
“About two and a half, three miles in, the pace kind of slowed down a bit,” Huston said. “I knew that I could take it over and get a little gap going. And I kept that gap the last two miles.”
Sac State finished the men’s 8K with a team score of 109. Cal State San marcos finished first with 72, and Cal State Fullerton took second with a score of 84.
Head coach Joe Eby was enthusiastic about the performance.
“I felt like the women executed their race plan perfectly,” Eby said. “Overall, I was very pleased with how things went.”
The pack-style running employed in late August at the Aggie Open worked again as the Hornet women clumped six finishers into the top 20. These six all finished the course within 36 seconds of each other.
Amanda Garcia finished ninth with a time of 18:37.8, one spot ahead of her teammate Veronica Stinnett at 18:42.7. Rounding out Sac State’s top-20 overall finishers were Gracie Albano at 18:51.1, Lauren Mugnaini at 18:53.9 and Emily Johnston at 19:01.1.
“We packed up really well and took out some teams,” Berlioux said. “Individually, I felt good. I was ready to race.”
As their first place finish indicated, the women had no trouble with the course environment.
“The course wasn’t grueling,” Berlioux said. “It’s not really the surface that we’re used to, but I think everybody did a really good job of working as a team and taking the win today.”
The men, on the other hand, experienced some technical difficulties. The lead vehicle for the 8K went off-course and guided the male runners about a quarter mile further than planned, Eby said.
The Hornet men handled this improvised route well. Led by Huston, Sac State had two other top 20 finishers in the 8K that helped secure the team’s third-place finish. Sam Scheuer finished 12th overall at 26:25.3, with Drew Azevedo not far behind at 26:32.3, good for 18th.
Though pleased with both the men and women’s teams, Eby emphasized that he has his eyes on the future.
“We have a really big meet next week at Stanford, so we were using this meet as a little bit of a tune-up,” Eby said. “We had a more conservative, group-up type of race plan. Both teams executed that very well.”
Sac State will next compete Sept. 27 at the Stanford Invite in Stanford, Calif.
Men’s 8K Team Results
Cal State San Marcos 72
Cal State Fullerton 84
Sacramento State 109
The Masters 133
Fresno Pacific 170
Loyola Marymount 189
Grand Canyon 190
UC Irvine 210
Cal Lutheran 331
Embry-Riddle Arizona 363
Marymount College 394
San Bernardino Valley 445
William Jessup 493
Hope International Inc.
Individual Top Five
Jacob Huston, Sacramento State, 25:46.0
Daniel Ramirez, Cal State Fullerton, 25:59.6
Jose Penaloza, Cal State Fullerton, 26:01.6
Enrique Ramirez, Cal State San Marcos, 26:04.6
Josh Espinoza, Vanguard, 26:06.5
SACRAMENTO STATE FINISHERS
1. Jacob Huston 25:46.0
12. Sam Scheuer 26:25.3
18. Drew Azevedo 26:32.3
35. Eric Molina 26:51.8
43. Blake Maule 27:02.6
52. Abraham Espinoza 27:30.4
54. Ryan Salcido 27:35.4
Jacob Williams 28:07.4
Edwardo Vasquez 28:52.9
Women’s 5K Team Results
Sacramento State 49
Cal State San Marcos 55
The Masters 111
Cal State Fullerton 112
Grand Canyon 182
Loyola Marymount 197
Fresno Pacific 199
UC Irvine 239
Cal State Bakersfield 332
Cal Lutheran 377
Hope International 388
Embry-Riddle Arizona 398
Marymount College 477
William Jessup Inc.
Individual Top Five
Karis Frankian, The Masters, 17:53.3
Kate Bouvatte, Cal State San Marcos, 18:12.1
Chloe Berlioux, Sacramento State, 18:24.4
Kelly Collins, Westmont, 18:24.6
Courntey Moore, Fresno Pacific, 18:35.7
SACRAMENTO STATE FINISHERS
3. Chloe Berlioux 18:24.4
9. Amanda Garcia 18:37.8
10. Veronica Stinnett 18:42.7
12. Gracie Albano 18:51.1
15. Lauren Mugnaini 18:53.9
19. Emily Johnston 19:01.1
24. Lizette Gonzalez 19:07.5
Jacquelin Taylor 19:08.7
Annette Acosta 19:19
Adrianna Royal 19:45.3