The LMU cross country team achieved decent results in both events at the WCC championships on Saturday in Provo, Utah.
In the men’s 8k run, the Lions finished sixth with 158 points. The women’s 6k run saw a slightly stronger finish for LMU, as the team came in fourth with 115 points. BYU won both events, posting 27 points in the 6k and 21 in the 8k.
The men were led by senior Koby Pederson, who finished 18th with a time of 24:22.70. The Lions’ top women’s runner was senior Maddi Vorgitch, who wound up in 13th by running the 6k in 21:28.40.
Runners in both events said they were satisfied with their individual performances and the performance of the team as a whole. Freshman Grace Catena finished 32nd in the 6k by running the course in 22:37.10. She expressed pride and contentment with the team’s performance.
“Our team finished fourth in a tough conference. We also placed high in big invitationals,” Catena said. “I’m really proud of how everyone has been running and pushing themselves. These are some of the most mentally tough girls I know.”
After his run, senior Branden Estrada, who finished 46th by posting a time of 25:49:00, reflected on his performance this season and his time with the team.
“Over the course of this season, I have learned lessons and values that will translate past this sport and my time here,” Estrada said. “I feel content about my performance today, because I was mainly focused on helping my teammates and even some competitors out by working together to battle the altitude and run some good times.”
Estrada, who has been running competitively for more than 10 years, discussed the bond he has formed with his fellow LMU runners.
“The guys on this team are people who inspire me every day...they help push me to my potential, and I like to think I do the same for them,” he said. “Running for yourself, your family and your brothers: there’s nothing quite like it, and LMU gave me it.”
Both LMU cross country teams will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 9, at the NCAA West Region Championships in Sacramento.