Track Team Runs at Beach Invitational

Gordie Thomas

April 19, 2014

NORWALK, Calif. - Five of the nine Pepperdine runners competing at the Beach Invitational set personal bests on Saturday, highlighting the final full track meet of the season.

With final exams coming up next week, this was the last meet for most, if not all, of the Waves. It's yet to be decided if any individuals will continue on in search of NCAA qualifying times.

Junior Lisa Santroch (Shoreline, Wash./Shorewood HS) finished in fifth place out of 17 competitors in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. The first-year member of the track team has steadily improved in the steeplechase in each of her four times running the event, and today's time of 10:56.99 was more than six seconds better than her previous best. Santroch ranks #2 on Pepperdine's all-time list in the event.

"Lisa went under 11 in the steeplechase, which is really good," Pepperdine Coach Robert Radnoti said. "She's kind of creeping up on a mark that might get her qualified for the NCAAs. So we're going to talk about having her keep going. She ran a really nice race and has improved every single time. She's fearless and enjoying the race so much and as she continues to learn it, she's going to get better and better."

In the women's 1,500 meters, both freshman Elle Lemco (San Jose, Calif./Prospect HS) and sophomore Katie Engel (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima HS) ran PRs. Lemco (4:47.41) came in fifth place in her heat. The same was true in the men's 1,500 meters with freshmen Nick Blanchard (Portland, Conn./Portland HS) and Gordie Thomas (Fallbrook, Calif./Great Oak HS), and Blanchard (4:03.76) also came in fifth place in his heat.



"We did well in both the women's and men's 1,500 meters," Radnoti said. "With Elle we've now got three girls at 4:47 or better so that speaks well for our cross country team next year. Katie's done well coming back from an injury. I wish she had another month in the season. Nick ran a really nice 4:03. He tried to win it but there were a few faster guys in the race. I'm really excited to see what he does as a sophomore. Gordie finished strongly and got a PR, which was good."

Also in action for the Waves on Saturday were senior Chloe Levray (Burbank, Calif./Lycee International de Los Angeles) in the women's 400 meters, sophomore Stasia Demick (Seattle, Wash./Holy Names Academy) in the women's 800 meters, freshman Tori Occhipinti (Coto de Caza, Calif./Crean Lutheran HS) in the women's 100-meter hurdles and freshman Torin Wile (Beverly Hills, Mich./Brother Rice HS) in the men's 800 meters.

"We've got a young team and I'm looking forward to everyone continuing to get better in the future," Radnoti said. "It's been a good season."

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