Cross Country breaks school records (SPORTS)

COLLEGIAN: September 13, 2011

By Krysta Worthen

Heat, humidity and dust proved to be no match for the Gaels cross-country team this weekend at the Hornet Jamboree in Sacramento. Both the men’s and women’s team were successful Saturday, setting many new Saint Mary’s records.

For the men’s team, sophomore Rajpaul Pannu placed 24th overall in the 4-mile race with a new school record time of 20:23. Following closely behind Pannu was junior Jordan Lerma, who finished 32nd with a time of 20:48, a new personal best for the runner. Rounding out the top five for the Gaels were two freshman, Nick Ellingson and Cormac McCullaugh, with times of 20:55 and 21:11, respectively. Senior captain James Hayes placed fifth for the team, finishing at 21:12 in 43rd place. Hayes has been trying to overcome an injury, and even with this obstacle his time had improved by 1:21 from last season’s race.

The men’s team as a whole finished with a new school record team time average of 20:54.

The women’s team ran strong today, but was also faced with a few obstacles. Senior captain Natalie Sojka finished a strong 19:37 for the 5k race. Freshman Cristina Garcia came out on top for the Gaels today in 27th place with a time of 18:48. Less than a minute behind Garcia was sophomore Alicia Doohan, who placed 36th with a 16 second improvement from last year, crossing the line at 19:20. Junior Erin Burke finished third for the women, coming in 40th overall at 19:29, a new personal record for Burke. The remainder of the team, Maria Ahlqvist, Elizandra Obando and Madison Thompson, all finished in the top 50 with times under 23 minutes.

The men and women will rest up next weekend before they head to the Stanford Invitational beginning September 24 in Palo Alto.

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