Young Cross Country Runners Make WCC Championships Debuts

Jesse Aston

Oct. 27, 2012

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Eleven Pepperdine cross country runners made their West Coast Conference Championships debuts on Saturday morning, and with 10 of them being freshmen, their first go-round at a league race gives them something to build on for the future.

As usual, senior Jonathan Rahaeuser (Irvine, Calif./Calvary Chapel HS) led the men's team to the finish line. He took 57th place overall in the 8K with a time of 26:32. It was the fifth time in six races that Rahaeuser was the top finisher for the Waves.

In order, junior Jesse Aston (Martinez, Calif./Alhambra HS), freshman Jordan Scandlyn (Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo-Atherton HS), freshman Mark Vega (Orange, Calif./Villa Park HS) and freshman Chris Hostetler (El Cajon, Calif./Steele Canyon Charter HS) followed Rahaeuser to the finish.

In the women's 5K, senior Hayley Lytle's (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach HS) midseason decision to rejoin the team paid off as she was the top finisher for the Waves, taking 51st place in a time of 22:45. Lytle ran for the Waves as a freshman in 2009, then came back this year and placed first among Pepperdine's runners in both of her 2012 races.

After Lytle, Pepperdine's other scorers were freshman Katie Engel (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima HS), freshman Rachel Rant (Boise, Idaho/Boise HS), junior Sarah Attar (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) and freshman Hannah Turpin (Lebanon, Ohio/Lebanon HS).

"We hoped to have run better as a team, but we had some good individual performances and we'll continue to build on them," Pepperdine Coach Robert Radnoti said. "We've got a young team, we'll keep working with them and they'll keep learning and we'll improve in the future. The conditions were pretty wet and muddy. Hayley had a tough race, she got knocked over in the first 50 meters and was covered in mud, and then they recalled everyone. She was our top runner again but she could have run even better if that hadn't happened. This was Jonathan's final race and I felt he went out on a high note. All in all it was a pretty good day, though we're disappointed we couldn't get higher in the standings."

Only three of the Waves' 14 runners at the meet had previously taken part in the WCC Championships. As a team, the Waves placed ninth in both the men's and women's competitions.

Pepperdine, which is the host school for the 2013 WCC Championships, will wrap up the 2012 season at the NCAA West Regional in Seattle, Wash., on Nov. 9.



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