SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Saint Mary's men's and women's cross country teams traveled to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif. for the Gator Invitational hosted by San Francisco State University this past Friday. This marks the Gaels second trip to Golden Gate Park this season, the previous being the USF Invitational earlier in September.
The Gaels held out most of their top runners in an opportunity to rest for the Bronco Invitational next week and to give a chance to the remainder of the roster to compete against stiff competition.
The men's team, carrying five athletes, finished 12th out of 15 teams. Freshmen Zach Newsom paced the Gaels with his 55th overall finish and time of 27:25. This marked a huge PR for Newsom, bettering his former collegiate best by over 1:20.
SMC's second finisher was sophomore Chris Garcia (28:03), a one minute improvement from last year's Gator Invitational performance. Freshmen Justin Jayme and Gilbert Mundo placed 73rd and 76th overall, respectively. Jayme, setting a new PR by 18 seconds in his young career, clocked in at 28:47, while Mundo finished in 29:00. Junior Antonio Venegas placed fifth for Saint Mary's and 81st overall with a time of 29:30.
"We're just really proud of these men today. Zach has been training as hard as anyone on the team but waiting to see it translate into race performances. Today everything seemed to click and he was a competitor from the gun. He's got a real bright future ahead of him," said head coach Marty Kinsey
For the women's race, the Gaels had four athletes in an attempt to race those that have been injured or haven't raced the 6K distance yet. Sophomore Maureen May, returning from injury, placed 49th overall in 24:32. Freshman Madison Thompson finished second for the Gaels with a time of 26:17 in her first 6K event. Alex Choy and Jackie Danens, both returning from injuries, ran 26:51 and 27:49, respectively.
The Gaels return to action next Saturday as they travel to Baylands Regional Park in Sunnyvale, Calif. to participate in the Bronco Invitational hosted by Santa Clara University.