EAGLE ROCK, Calif. - Senior Sarah Kapple broke her own school record with a time of 10:41.40 in the 3k steeplechase on her way to getting eighth place at the Occidental Invite Saturday evening.
It was a cold night for spectators, but ideal running weather for distance runners on a traditionally fast track. Kapple took full advantage of the opportunity and pushed the pace from the beginning of the race. She had a great pack of women that comprised of steeplers from BYU, British Columbia, Northwestern, and Alaska Anchorage.
“Our goal was to hit an NCAA Western Regional mark of 10:30,” Head Coach Will Guarino said. “She was on pace for most of the race, but the last 700 meters is where we lost time.”
She finished in 10:41.40, which gives her the 69th best time in the West Region. The NCAA will take the best 48 times in each of the two regions of the country. The separation between Kapple and 45th place is exactly 10 seconds.
Senior Andrea Hughes continued her outstanding season as she pressed the 5km pace and came within two seconds of her school record. The Toreros have been so used to seeing Hughes thrive in big races, and the senior did not back down from the grit of competition once again. Her finishing time of 16:54.87 gave her a 21st place finish in the 1st heat of 3 of the 5km.
Another senior that lit up the track at Occidental was Lindsay Benster. She set a personal best and posted the third best time in the 10km in program history.
“Lindsay raced smart and really battled for the first couple of miles,” Guarino said. “She made a decision to win and never looked back as she pushed the pace for the remaining four miles of the race.”
“We will soon be without the seniors, so the retooling of our team had to begin with our seniors at the helm showing our future racers how to navigate the unchartered racing waters,” Guarino explained.
Notable performances came from freshmen Cassidy Kuhn in the 5km and a time of 17:44.47, and Hope McLaughlin as she won her heat with a time of 17:51.63. “We loved seeing the other girls step up and run so well in the 10,000m. We have never had so many girls race the 10km. This fuels our mission of always implementing endurance growth in overall team strategy.”
On the men’s side, Liam Burke had an outstanding day. He won his 10km heat and raced the 2nd fastest time ever at USD. He missed his personal best and school record by just 10 seconds.
“Liam loves the long races, and he doesn’t mind putting his head down smiling and breaking away from the pack.” mentioned Coach Guarino.
Matt Smith paced the men in the 1500m, missing his personal best by a fraction of a second. “We will miss Matt and the leadership that he brought to the team,” Guarino prasied.
“Senior day was our racing theme and the young class wanted to send our athletes out in style. That was a team effort and they did what was in their hearts, and their expression was felt on the track,” Guarino said. “The seniors responded with performances that has brought four years excitement and growth to our distance team. This is a large class of seniors that have helped foster a culture of risk taking, excitement and daring to climb barriers that will further build our team’s innate values as endurance and academic athletes.”
USD XC & Track now proudly graduates the following seniors:
Olivia Gonzalez, Scotts Valley High School - Major: Communications, Minor: International Relations
Viktoria Vozarova, Bratislava, Slovakia Major: Accounting, Minor: German
Stephanie Lapidus, Tesoro High School, Orange County, CA - Major: Behavioral Neuroscience, Minor: Biomedical Ethics
Ashley Mitchell, Del Norte High School, San Diego, CA - Major: Biology, Minor: Chemistry
Lindsay Benster, Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, WA - Major Behavioral Neuroscience
Andrea Hughes, Valhalla High School, San Diego, CA - Major: Biology, Minor: Music
Sarah Kapple, South Medford High, Medford, OR - Major: Electrical Engineering, Minor: Math
Matt Smith, Vista Murrieta, Murrieta, CA - Major: Economics, Minor: Marketing
Matthew Beasley, Riverside Poly High, Riverside, CA - Major: Finance & Real Estate
T.J. Hodges, Phillips Exeter Academy, Phoenix, AZ - Major: Accountancy and currently enrolled in a Master’s in Accounting program.
8. Sara Kapple 10:41.40 (Personal Best and and School Record).
21. Andrea Hughes 16:54.87 (2nd All-Time 5km Best at USD).
18. Cassidy Kuhn 17:44.47 (Personal Best)
24. Ashley Mitchell 18:21.91
1 Hope McLaughlin 17:51.63 (Personal Best)
13. Shannan Conlon 18:39.55 (Personal Best)
18. Ally Roessling 18:54.19
20. Mary Tenuta 18:57.52
22. Hailey Purtzer 18:59.96 (Personal Best)
30. Allison Mattias 20:04.02
1. Lindsay Benster 36:04.95 (Personal Best & 3rd All-Time 10km Best USD)
3. Jeannie Kopstein 39:54.35 (Personal Best)
4. Amanda Brodow 39:57.95 (Personal Best)
5. Olivia Gonzalez 41:53.24 (Personal Best)
6. Erika Brodow 42:00.79 (Personal Best)
7. Viktoria Vozarova 47:24.46 (Personal Best)
7. Olivia Gonzalez 28.96
7. Matt Smith 4:04.76
27. Max Pedrotti 15:22.34
6. TJ Hodges 15:14.23 (Personal Best)
23. Patrick Bruce 15:41.98
24. Mitch Manis 15:50.39 (Personal Best)
1 Liam Burke 31:37.55 (2nd All Time Best 10km USD)
4. Matt Beasley 35:04.09 (Personal Best)
5. Eli Rosen-Duran 35:38.45 (Personal Best)
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