BREA, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton men's team finished in third place, while the women finished in fourth at the Mark Covert Classic at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea, Calif., on Saturday morning. For the third consecutive season, the Loyola Marymount women's cross country team finished in first place, while the Long Beach State men garnered the top spot in the team standings.
The Long Beach State men had a dominant 2-4-6-10-14 for 36 points led by race runner-up Emilio Nunez in 26:05 over the 8k course. San Diego's Liam Burke took the top spot recording a time of 25:57, while USD finished in fourth as a team. Unattached runner Nick Kelley was the open race winner with a time of 26:27.
For the second consecutive season, LMU's Grace Graham-Zamudio and Danielle Shanahan finished 1-2 in the women's 5k race. Graham-Zamudio was atop the leaderboard, setting a mark of 17:60. Shanahan (18:06) and USC's Katerina Berdousi (18:17) rounded out the top-three. Unattached runner Katrina Graham carded the best time in the women's 5k open race with a time of 18:43.
Host Fullerton was third in the men's standings with 66 points. Senior Brandon Perry finished third among collegians at 26:08 and was followed by sophomore Jose Penaloza in 11th with a time of 26:38. Tanner Love followed closely behind at 26:45, good for 15th place overall. Seven Titan men finished within the top-25 competitors.
"Brandon Perry ran a solid race for us today," said head coach John Elders. "He showed us that his fitness is at a high level while his potential is unlimited. As the season continues, Brandon will have to learn to conserve some energy to reach that elite level that we know he's capable of."
The Titans were fourth in the women's scoring led by 15th place collegian Emily Taylor in 18:51. Junior Ana Valdovinos was the next Titan finisher with a time of 19:20, finishing 23rd overall. Bloomington, Calif., native Katie Bathgate rounded out the top three Titans concluding the invite in 28th and crossing the line at 19:34.
"The women's pace from the start was a bit slower from last season, but Emily Taylor managed her race very well as she recorded a faster time from a season ago," stated Elders. "I'm optimistic that the women will continue to improve as we move forward."
The 29th annual Labor Day weekend season-opening meet was renamed two seasons ago in honor of former Titan All-American, Mark Covert, who was among the 1971 College Division II Championship team. Covert is currently the cross country coach at Antelope Valley College and recently ended a 45- year streak of running at least one mile a day.
"As we head into an early season break from competition, we look for this time period to be a great opportunity to train and raise our fitness levels," said Elders.
The Titans return to the course in three weekends when they make a trip to Santa Clarita, Calif., for the Mustang Challenge at Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 20.