September 1, 2012

LMU Sweeps Men's and Women's Races at Mark Covert Classic

Photo of John Elders and Mark Covert
Titan cross country Head Coach John Elders makes a presentation to former Titan national champion/running ledgend Mark Covert in between races Saturday morning at Carbon Canyon Park. Covert is the namesake of the season opening Mark Covert Classic. Photo by Matt Brown.

Brea, Calif. - Loyola Marymount swept both the men's and women's races with Long Beach State runnerup in each Saturday morning at the inaugural Mark Covert Classic invitational cross country meet hosted by Cal State Fullerton at Carbon Canyon Park.

Covert Classic  Men's 8K Results
Covert Classic Women's 5K Results 

The Lions' men had a dominant 2-3-5-6-8 pack for 24 points led by race runnerup Weston Strum in 25:17.8 over the 8K course to outscore the 49ers at 66 points. Cerritos College's Munir Kahssay was the collegiate individual winner in 25:15.5 while unattached Heath Reedy crossed the finish line first in 24:18.4.

LMU's Sheree Shea was the overall winner in the women's 5K race in 17:54.3. Long Beach had the next two collegiate runners in Alisia Barajas in 17:56.1 and Nina Moore in 18:17.4 but the Lions had the better pack and totaled 33 points to 48 for the 49ers.

Host Fullerton was third in the women's standings with 100 points. Freshman Emily Taylor finished fourth among collegians at 18:18.7 and was followed by teammate Katie Bathgate in 15th. The Titans were fifth in the men's scoring led by 12th place collegian Marco Zaragoza in 26:18.4.

"Emily's performance did not surprise me," said Fullerton Coach John Elders. "Even though she is only a freshman, she is an aggressive runner and trained very hard this summer. And Katie's performance was most pleasing. She walked onto the team in the middle of last season and has worked extremely hard, particularly over the summer.

"For the men, Marco had a very strong race with a great finish. He must have passed 50 runners in the last few Ks."

The annual season-opening meet was renamed this year in honor of the former Titan All-American runner who won the 1970 NCAA title and helped his team win the championship the following season. In a between-races ceremony, Covert was honored along with 1971 teammates Tim Tubb and Doug Schmenk and several former Titan coaches. Covert currently is the cross country coach at Antelope Valley College.