Waves Open Season at Mark Covert Classic

Jonathan Rahaeuser

Sept. 1, 2012

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BREA, Calif. - Senior Jonathan Rahaeuser and freshman Katie Engel led the Pepperdine men's and women's cross country teams, respectively, as the Waves took part in the season-opening Mark Covert Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton.

Engel (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima HS), running her first collegiate race, finished in 14th place in the women's 5K with a time of 19:10.1 at the Carbon Canyon Park course. Rahaeuser (Irvine, Calif./Calvary Chapel HS), a three-year veteran, was 30th in the men's 8K with a time of 26:38.1.

The Waves broke in a big group of new student-athletes. Ten of the 11 women's runners were freshmen, and the other was a junior who is competing in cross country for the first time. Of the five men's runners, three were returners but only Rahaeuser saw action at a cross country meet last season.

"Katie went out really strong, it was exciting because she was leading the race early," Pepperdine Coach Robert Radnoti said. "We were pretty pumped about that. She did very well in her first race. Our freshmen ran very nicely.

"Jonathan led the men, and though he PR'd, he's still trying to take his speed from the track and extend it over to cross country. He's working hard and he will get there."

The next five that followed Engel in the women's race were freshmen Rachel Rant (Boise, Idaho/Boise HS), Kelly Smyth (Toms River, N.J./Toms River HS East), Hannah Turpin (Lebanon, Ohio/Lebanon HS), Tori Vollmer (Corona, Calif./Santiago HS) and Stasia Demick (Seattle, Wash./Holy Names Academy).

The other Pepperdine men to race were freshman Jordan Scandlyn (Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo-Atherton HS), senior Sean King (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill HS), freshman Chris Hostetler (El Cajon, Calif./Steele Canyon Charter HS) and sophomore Phillip Moran (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley HS).

Overall, the women finished in ninth place and the men took 17th.

Radnoti expects improvement at the team's next meet in two weeks -- the UC Riverside Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15 -- partly because he should have a few more experienced runners in the lineup, including juniors Adrianna Davies (Coronado, Calif./Coronado HS) and Sarah Attar (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) on the women's side and junior Jesse Aston (Martinez, Calif./Alhambra HS) and freshman Mark Vega (Orange, Calif./Villa Park HS) on the men's.

"We would have liked to have finished a little stronger, but there were some nerves for the first race, particularly with a lot of people running their first race," Radnoti said. "We'll get stronger. We got our first race in the books, everyone learned a lot, and I'm excited about where the team is headed."



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