Belmont, Calif. - Behind a 10th place finish from freshman Katie Castro, the Pacific women's cross country team turned in a four-place result in the season-opening Battle of the Bay Cross Country Invitational in Belmont, Calif.
Castro's time of 24:14 in the 6K race was good for 10th overall, scoring in ninth place and just 26 seconds from the top five. In her debut race, the Los Gatos, Calif. native earned a spot in the Pacific all-time top 10 with the ninth-fastest personal record in program history.
"Today was a great day for Pacific Cross County," head coach Josh Jones said. "The girls powered through this race. We weren't looking for times today, we just wanted to get back in competition mode. But the team picked up right where we left off last season: each race better than the last. It was fun to watch the ladies compete. Katie just ran an awesome first collegiate race, putting in a performance like that, which was an all-time top 10 time. Overall, it was a solid day."
Sophomore Melissa Hopper was the second Tiger over the line, scoring in 22nd place with a time of 25:30. Following her was freshman Rebecca Tuttle, scoring in 25th, at 25:45 in her Tiger debut. Senior Jazmin Quiroz came in 33rd overall, in 26:49 while senior Monica Torres rounded out the Tigers scorers in 47th at 28:00. In 51st, sophomore Cassi Rush turned in a time of 28:25, while freshman Julia Lane came in 52nd at 28:54 in her debut.
"Battle of the Bay is a great way for our team to start the season," Quiroz said. "I think our performance today shows that this year us going to be great for Tiger cross country. This the first race of my senior year and I'm happy with my performance and out there and excited to be my personal best from Big West this season. If we keep improving throughout the year, this team is going to turn heads."
San Jose State won the Battle of the Bay with a 23:43 average time, as Spartans' sophomore Aylin Mejia won the individual title in 23:12.
The Tigers are back in action next Saturday at the Humboldt Invite in Eureka, Calif.