SPARKS, Nev. — The Saint Mary's men grabbed both individual and team victories while the women had two top finishers to kick off the 2017 season Friday night at the Nature's Bakery Twilight Classic hosted by Nevada at Shadow Mountain Park.
· Noah McDermott started off his senior season with a victory, winning the men's 5,000-meter race in 16 minutes, 14 seconds.
· Saint Mary's placed four in the top 10, winning the team title with 24 points.
· The race was a homecoming of sorts for some members of the team, including McDermott, who hails from Tahoe City just outside of Reno, Nev. Mason Labadie calls Reno home.
· Abby Bolt finished fifth in 14:57 and Neylene Leon was seventh in 15:11 in the women's 4 km race.
· Saint Mary's finished second as a team to host Nevada, beating UC Riverside and William Jessup University.
· Abigayle Mitchell was the Gaels' third runner in her collegiate debut, finishing 17th in 16:36.
· Katie Watson also had a strong opening-season race, finishing 19th in 16:41.
· Other Saint Mary's debuts included freshmen Grace De Leon (23rd, 17:04) and Courtney Robinson (34th, 19:18).
MARTY KINSEY'S TAKE
· “It was a really good experience. Really good first race to build on going forward towards the next race against Santa Clara.”
· “The guys won like we hoped. (Both) teams are in really good spirits. Abby and Neylene looked really strong.”
SAN FRANCISCO — A number of young Gaels took the course for the first time this season as they competed at the 25th annual USF Invitational at Golden Gate Park.
Moses Bojorquez was the top Saint Mary's runner as he clocked 27:51.6 for 45th overall in the 8 km race. Bojorquez, a sophomore, paced the team to a fifth place finish among Division I programs in the standings.
Host San Francisco placed four runners in the top seven and three in the top five to easily win the men's team competition with 26 points. Santa Clara was second behind with 37 points, followed by California and San Jose State.
Alex Riggsby followed Bojorquez in 48th overall with a time of 28:08.9 in his first-ever collegiate competition. Cole Snyder (28:40.2), Jake Echsner (29:00.1) and Brady Lance (29:43.6) were the other SMC scorers. Snyder, Eschsner and Lance were all making their collegiate debuts.
USF's Mohamed Aziz was the individual winner in 25:21.0.
USF also took the women's team win with 17 points as the Dons finished first through fourth. Weronika Pyzik ran a 21:31.7 in the 6K race. SMC did not field a women's team in the event.
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