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Martinez, Johnny lead Men's Cross Country at Aztec Invitational

Martinez, Johnny lead Men's Cross Country at Aztec Invitational

Photo by Leo Dela Cruz

SAN DIEGO — Mario Martinez and Samuel Johnny both finished in the top-10 to lead the University of La Verne men's cross country team last Friday at the 72nd annual Aztec Invitational, hosted by San Diego State, at the Tecolote Shores Park.

Martinez finished eighth with a time of 21 minutes, 44.1 seconds, on the 4-mile course and Johnny was right behind in ninth at 21:45.4.

But the Leopards as a team did not run as well as they could have, according to head coach Bryan George. "The men weren't at the top of their game today, but showed resiliency when things didn't go their way," George said. "This group has realy matured over the past year and we showed today that we can handle adversity."

Christopher Arcos, who was La Verne's best runner for most of last year before a late-season injury, made his 2016 debut. The Chino Hills native finished 16th overall with a time of 23:18.4.

Andrew Coupe came in 17th at 23:26.5 and Chance Griffin was not far behind, placing 19th with a time of 23:52.5.

Damon Gomez finished 24th with a time of 24:22.6 and Michael Castillo crossed the line 26th at 24:35.6. Daniel Romero (27:13.8, 36th) and Nathan Sanchez (27:58.2, 40th) rounded out La Verne's lineup.

The Leopards are back in action next Saturday at SCIAC Multi-Dual.