September 8, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. - The Mustang Women opened their season on Saturday at the Adidas/UC Irvine Cross Country Invitational, hosted by UCI at the Anteater Recreation Center in Irvine, CA.
It was a fantastic season opener for TMC’s women’s squad. Small but strong, the lady Mustangs fielded just five athletes, with sophomore Jessica Hawley (Canyon Country, CA) taking the day off to recover from a minor injury.
Leading the way for the women was Saugus High School standout, Karis Frankian (Saugus, CA). Recovering quickly from a toe broken early this summer, the freshman ran a strong effort, finishing 16th overall in the “A” heat of the women’s 5k. Running 18:08 in her first collegiate race, Frankian is expected to rapidly improve upon this mark throughout the season. “We’re just now really getting back into things,” Coach Schroeder commented on Frankian. “Once our fitness is back and as it continues to progress throughout the season, we’re going to see much stronger racing from Karis. Today was a good effort. Karis is a very good racer. I’m excited to see where we end up at the end of the season.”
Just eight seconds behind Frankian was teammate Hannah Kellerman (Sartell, MN), posting a new personal best of 18:16. “It’s always good to see an athlete come out and run the fastest they ever have in their first race of the season,” said Schroeder. “Kellerman looks stronger and fitter than ever. I expect to see her progress right along with Karis. With a very strong 1-2 up front, I’m excited to see how we finish as a team at our Conference Championships in November.”
Katrina Graham (Riverside, CA) finished third for TMC, running 19:00. Graham looked strong and Coach Schroeder is confident of much better racing as the season goes on. Completing the score for the Mustangs was Hayley Parkinson (Canyon Country, CA) (19:46) and Micayla Frakian (Saugus, CA) (19:55).
Matching the effort put together by their squad last year at UCI and in tougher conditions, the TMC women ran a team time of 1:35:07. Finishing seventh out of 14 teams in the faster of the two women’s heats, the ladies were just one-and-a-half minutes back from former GSAC powerhouse Azusa Pacific; this the closest the Mustangs have been to APU’s team time. Among teams defeated by the Master’s women were Cal Baptist, UC San Diego and UC Irvine.
On September 22nd, the Mustangs look forward to hosting the Mustang Challenge, their first home cross country invitational. The meet will take place at Central Park in Santa Clarita, CA. All but two members of the GSAC will be in attendance, along with Loyola Marymount University, the University of La Verne, Fresno Pacific, and College of the Canyons. Get ready for an exciting race on the Mustangs’ new “home course”! The 2012 Cross Country season is underway…