SAN FRANCISCO – The California men’s and women’s cross country teams both enjoyed impressive starts to the season on Saturday morning at the University of San Francisco Invitational at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The Golden Bear men won the meet, while also posting dual victories over Stanford and USF. The women placed second as a team at the USF Invitational, while splitting its two opponents in dual competition, defeating USF and falling to Stanford.
“The course was totally different than it has been in the past because of construction,” said California head coach Tony Sandoval. “It was a good test for us and a true reflection of the summer preparation of our student-athletes. They did a pretty good job in the summer and it showed today.”
Redshirt freshman Yohaness Estifanos captured the individual title on the men’s side to lead the Bears to the team championship. He finished the 8,000-meter race with a time of 25:07.3, to edge out fellow Golden Bear Chris Walden (25:07.4). Junior Leland Later made it a 1-2-3 finish for Cal, placing third with a time of 25:14.5. Redshirt freshman Trent Brendel placed ninth with a time of 25:32.8, while redshirt sophomore Seamus Land was 11th with a time of 25:41.9. Three more Bears finished in the top-20, with redshirt freshman Josh Lewis (25:50.7) placing 13th, and redshirt sophomores Ned Trim (25:54.0) and Kristian Martinez (25:59.0) placing 15th and 16th, respectively.
Led by a second-place finish from sophomore Megan Bordes, the Golden Bear women finished second overall, behind first-place Stanford. Bordes completed the 5,000-meter course in 17:59.5, just five seconds back of winner Elizabeth Nelson (17:54.1) of Cal State Northridge. Redshirt senior Heather Cerney placed ninth overall with a time of 18:13.9. Junior Ashlyn Dadkhah (18:21.7) and freshman Leann Jarvis (18:29.8) placed 11th and 13th, respectively, while redshirt sophomore Molly Babcock (18:56.0) was right behind in 17th.
In addition to the overall competition, Cal faced both Stanford and San Francisco in dual action. The men defeated both schools, while the women fell to the Cardinal and earned the win over the Dons.
Cal returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 27, when the Golden Bears travel to St. Paul, Minn. to compete in the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational.
Team Results (top-five): 1. California (25), 2. Stanford (30), 3. San Jose State (106), 4. Santa Clara (110), 5. San Francisco (127).
Individual Winner: Yohaness Estifanos (California) 25:07.311. Cal Finishers: 1. Yohaness Estifanos 25:07.311; 2. Chris Walden 25:07.412; 3. Leland Later 25:14.513; 9. Trent Brendel 25:32.8; 11. Seamus Land 25:41.9; 13. Josh Lewis 25:50.7; 15. Ned Trim 25:54.0; 16. Kristian Martinez 25:59.0; 43. Andrew Bland 27:00.9; 45. Eugene Hamilton III 27:12.2; 73. William Contreras 29:19.0; 83. Ivan Gonzalez 31:48.3.
Team Results (top-five): 1. Stanford (25), 2. California (52), 3. San Francisco (62), 4. Santa Clara (125), 5. San Jose State (134).