BELMONT, Calif, - During a weekend full of teams competing, the Menlo College Cross Country squads suited up for their first invite of the season: The 2017 NDNU Argonaut Invite, hosted at Crystal Springs in Belmont. On a day like Saturday it can be very easy to just pack it in and watch times drop, with scorching temperatures across the Bay Area making life difficult for a runner. When asked about today's invite, which saw strong opening-season performances from the Oaks, head coach Dan Noel stated simply, "very hot."
Despite the temperatures, Noble Boutin was able to record a top-15 finish to become the highest finisher on the day for Menlo. His efforts earned him a 13th place finish with a time of 28:53.2, impressive considering the belief that this course will be one of the most difficult Menlo will see in 2017. The other two men competing for Menlo were Logan Pine and Chandler Garrison. Pine finished 28th with a time of 30:37.8 and Garrison was just behind him at 32:05.2. Both were running in their first 8k race at the collegiate level and performed well for this stage in the season. The main key, according to coach Noel, is getting the entire team healthy for their next invite in San Francisco on the 22nd.
Three women were also in action for the 6k race, and they finished clustered around each other. Lucrezia Povero was the top finisher for Menlo, taking on a bigger role on this year's team and seeming ready for the challenge. Her time of 30:38.1 led all Oaks on the day, and was just a few ticks better than teammate Rachel Valencia, who clocked a 30:55.5 to finish just two spots behind Povero. Rounding out the performers was Dorian Aberouette, who began her senior season with a time of 36:38 on the dot.
The Academy of Art won the invite on both the men's and women's sides, completing the sweep with the winner of each race. Gatien Airiau won the men's race with a time of 27:24.1 while Swann Phelippeau won the women's race, finishing in 24:27.3. A total of seven runners placed in the top-ten for the Academy of Art between the two races, easily the best total of any school competing. Fresno Pacific came in second in both events, recording six top-ten finishers of their own, including the second and third place finishers in the men's race.
Menlo College will prepare next for the SF State Invitational in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The event will take place on Friday, September 22nd and is set to begin at 3:30 PM. The invitational will be the second of three for Menlo in the month of September, with one more on the 30th in Santa Clarita.