Westmont College conducted the area’s first intercollegiate competition last weekend, running to victory in its own cross-country tri-meet.
The event, which pitted the Warriors against Golden State Athletic Conference rivals Hope International and William Jessup, lost Vanguard as a contestant when one of its runners tested positive for COVID-19.
Westmont sophomore Adam King won the men’s race while freshman schoolmate Kacie Kwan was the women’s winner.
“It was a pleasure to host a meet on our campus and offer an opportunity to compete for some GSAC friends,” Warriors coach Russell Smelley said. “The Warrior women and men dominated the meet, as our guests were unable to field scoring teams of five runners. It was more like an all-comers’ race, but it was good to compete nonetheless.”
King finished first in the men’s 6K in a time of 20:28 while senior Chris Hanessian placed second in 20:32. Westmont was coming off a first-place team finish at The Master’s Invitational on Sept. 26.
“Chris Hanessian was impressive in pushing Adam King to claim first place in the race with a strong finishing kick,” Smelley said. “Chris has run faster, as he has become more relaxed mentally and physically during races.”
They took advantage when four of the leaders, including two of their teammates, missed a turn at one point of the course.
“The men’s team ran with a mission of sticking together and keeping a tight team spread,” Smelley said. “Unfortunately, I was not at a critical point in the race to direct the race leaders and the first four runners missed a turn.
“Despite having the two leading runners taken out of the race by going the wrong way, the Warriors still managed a 1:07 team spread from runners one to five.”
Freshman Ben Reasner finished third (21:05), freshman Ryan Daedler placed fifth (21:31) and senior Thaddeus Kowalik, Jr. took sixth position (21:35). Other Warriors to finish in the top 10 were sophomores Garrett Miller (eighth, 21:42), John Baker (ninth, 21:48) and Damien Ureste (10th, 21:51).
Kwan won her second-straight meet by finishing first in the women’s 4K with a time of 16:02. Sophomore Madden Hundley made her Westmont debut by placing second in 16:13.
Other Warriors in the top 10 were freshman Gretchen Scherrei (seventh,16:35), junior Abigail Stadtlander (eighth, 16:49), sophomore Abigail Edwards (ninth, 17:27) and freshman Jenae McInnes (10th, 17:33).
“Madden Hundley made her season debut with an assertive effort that showed she did not lose her racing acumen after a summer of battling training injuries,” Smelley said. “Kacie Kwan had another strong race that was focused and even paced.
“Abigail Stadtlander was more relaxed than in her season opener, which yielded a stronger and more satisfying race for her. Overall, the women’s team had a focused effort, which demonstrated their improving race fitness.
The Westmont Tri-Meet was the first cross country meet run on its Montecito campus since the Warriors hosted the Westmont Invitational in 2012. Their next meet will be in Rocklin on Oct. 24 at William Jessup’s Warrior Invitational.
Westmont’s Thompson wins consolation
Freshman Logan Thompson won the consolation bracket singles title on day three of the ITA NAIA West Regional in San Diego.
“I was really impressed overall with Logan’s strokes and overall demeanor,” Warriors coach Mark Basham said. “Logan strikes his ground strokes really clean, has a big first serve and I strongly believe he is going to reach a very high level in singles and in doubles.”
Thompson, the fourth seed, defeated second-seeded Alessandro Cadena of Saint Katherine, 8-3, in the consolation championship match.
Callen Hein and Ethan Ha, the sixth-seeded doubles pairing in the main draw, advanced to the semifinals before losing 8-5 to second-seeded Julius Kaufmann and Nick Nienhaus of San Diego Christian.
All four Warrior doubles teams reached the main draw quarterfinals, while Ha advanced to the final eight in the singles main draw.
“I am excited about all 10 of our players and I learned a lot about our four new freshmen during this ITA Regional,” Basham said.
Women’s soccer team honored
Westmont women’s soccer was selected to College Athletic Advisor’s inaugural list of “Programs That Inspire.” The Warriors were one of 20 collegiate women’s soccer programs nationwide, excluding NCAA Division I schools, to be featured.
Westmont was ranked eighth overall and first among NAIA women’s soccer programs. The Warriors were also ranked first among non-NCAA Division I women’s soccer teams in California.
Programs were rated by a group of College Athletic Advisor consultants on a point system based on the criteria of “holistic development of student-athletes; academic achievement and support for the academic success of student-athletes; overall college experience; and the affordability, graduation rates, and overall student satisfaction.
The Westmont women’s soccer program has received NAIA Scholar Team recognition for a school-record seven consecutive years.
It also served last summer in Uganda and Kenya with Sports Outreach. Several Warriors are also involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as well as with Potter’s Clay, Westmont’s annual spring break service trip to Ensenada, Mexico.
“We are striving to create an environment that prioritizes relationships, while striving for excellence in academics and athletic performance within the context of our faith in Christ,” coach Jenny Jaggard said. “We aren’t perfect, but we are a family, and we are always learning and helping each other to grow through life.”