Seven runners earn all-conference honors
Both Westmont men’s and women’s cross country teams took second place, respectively, in their races Saturday at the Golden State Athletic Conference Championship.
In total, seven cross country runners earned All-GSAC honors for placing in the top 14 in the race, held at the newly renovated course at William Jessup.
Anneline Breytenbach finished the first loop of the women’s 5K in the second-leading group of three runners before surging up to third place with a time of 19:09.
“We have such an amazing team and all push each other,” said Breytenbach, who walked-on to the Westmont team this year. “We’re all encouraging each other as we run, so it’s been a fun experience.”
Madden Hundley earned all-conference honors for the second straight year, finishing in sixth place with a time of 19:21.9. Gretchen Scherrei also cracked the top 10, crossing the line in 10th place with a time of 20:06.5. Kacie Kwan took 11th with a time of 20:08.8. Abigail Edwards placed 25th with a time of 21:10.5.
Overall, the women’s team totaled 53 points to place second behind The Master’s, who took first with 30 points.
In the men’s 8K, Mitch Groff got off to a fast start and set a personal record by 45 seconds. The freshman took fifth overall with a time of 26:05.3 to lead the men’s team.
Adam King finished in 11th place with a time of 26:49.7, while Garrett Miller took 14th with a time of 26:54.6.
Caleb Mettler took 15th place with a time of 27:11.5, and Danny Rubin finished in 17th place with a time of 27:20.8 in his first race of the season.
The Westmont men, who are ranked 24th in the latest NAIA Coaches’ Poll, placed second as a team with 62 points, behind The Master’s, who won its 11th consecutive conference title, finishing with 21 points.
Breytenbach, Hundley and Groff qualified for the NAIA National Championship as individuals after placing in the top-15 and being among the top-four runners not on the winning team. As conference champions, The Master’s men and women earned an automatic berth to the national championship meet.
The Warriors hope to receive an at-large bid to nationals for both teams, though won’t find out if they qualified until the spring. The NAIA postponed fall sport national championships until 2021 because of COVID-19, with cross country nationals scheduled to take place on April 9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.