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Leopards Hit The Ground Running At The UCR 41st Annual Cross Country Invitational

Leopards Hit The Ground Running At The UCR 41st Annual Cross Country Invitational

Riverside, CA - This past weekend the University of La Verne men's and women's cross country teams competed in the UCR 41st Annual Cross Country Invitational at UC Riverside. The Leopards were back on the ground after spending much of this month in preparation for the race. The race would see many individuals achieve new personal records in addition to setting all-time best records.

The UCR consisted of twenty-three teams from across the western region. Two Leopards set marks on the La Verne all-time list. Jose Reyes moved to number eight on the all-time list with a time of 25:34 and Efren Martin moved to number eleven on the all-time list with a time of 25:58. The top five of the men's team averaged a time of sub 26:00. The Leopards finished number four out of the Division III teams in the race, despite not having their top two runners. The men's freshmen team finished in thirteenth place with the top five freshmen averaging sub 27:00 on the day. The freshmen team also beat varsity teams competing in the race, including some NCAA Division II teams. This meet also saw five first-year athletes compete in the 8K race.

In the women's race, four out of six Leopards set personal records. Freshman Destiny Espinoza established her second personal best with a time of 2:13.

Coach Norton talked about how his team dealt with adversity throughout the week but still found a way to compete and put together a solid performance. "We had a challenging week going into this meet dealing with a variety of sicknesses and injuries so I was happy the teams were able to pull together a solid performance. We are definitely capable of better, but we continue to show signs of our potential once we can get everyone healthy and on the line at the same time. I'm looking forward to having a more normal week of training and getting everyone back on track. I'm glad that we have another race on the horizon at Cougar Challenge. It will be the first 6k for many of the women so I'm excited to see them handle that, and hopefully the first time we put our whole men's team on the line together and see what we can do against some more tough competition."

The Leopards will compete in the Cougar Challenge on September 24th at Cal State University San Marcos.

Full Results Here: