Cross country finishes strong

The Eagles’ success holds positive implications heading into the GSAC tournament.

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Steven Guersch/ THE CHIMES

Steven Guersch/ THE CHIMES

Steven Guersch/ THE CHIMES

Keaton Moore, Writer

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Competing in their last meet of the regular season, the Eagles sent their entire women’s cross country team and three men runners to the Titan Invitational hosted by California State University Fullerton. Although the men’s team did not qualify for placement, the women’s team finished fourth overall and second among their Golden State Athletic Conference competitors.

Despite the small number of runners, each of the Eagles’ men runners finished in the top 100 in the 142-man race. Junior Eric Marlette led the charge and finished 79th at 27:19. Freshman Nic Nelson followed close behind, finishing 87th at 27:53. Junior Tim Seeberger brought up the rear for Biola, coming 94th with a time of 27:50.

Shortly after the men’s 8k race, the women’s cross country finished fourth in the 5k race. Out of the five Eagles to finish in the top-40, Kelly Thomas secured 21st place with her 18:56 time and proved the Eagles’ top runner in the invitational.

The next four Eagles crossed the finish line in under 20 minutes. Freshman Taylor Lawsen came in five places after Thomas, clinching 26th place with her 19:11 time. Junior Stephanie Chaires finished in 29th place at 19:23, while senior Hannah Jossi and sophomore Melissa Ledesma finished in 34th and 36th, respectively.

Even though the women’s team fell short of first place, their impressive success in the Titan Invitational placed them atop many of their conference competitors. With the GSAC championship on the horizon, the Eagles bested Vanguard University and San Diego Christian College, but fell 62 points behind The Master’s University. The women’s cross country team only lost to one other GSAC team this season during the UC Riverside Invitational.

As the regular season comes to an end, both cross country teams have a chance to become GSAC champions. The women’s team seeks to repeat their 2015 GSAC championship and the men’s team are fighting for their first championship since at least 2006, the earliest season Biola Athletics has statistics for.

The GSAC tournament, hosted by William Jessup University, starts on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 a.m.

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