September 21, 2015
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Karis Frankian placed second out of a field of 226 runners in the women’s 5k, clocking a time of 17:27.05 at the fourth-annual Mustang Challenge Saturday morning at Santa Clarita’s Central Park. Frankian, now competing in her senior season, was the 2014 champion in this event, and was only surpassed by Loyola Marymount's Danielle Shanahan with a margin of just less than four seconds.
Frankian’s time led the 9th-ranked Lady Mustangs to a 4th of 20 team finish with a collective time of 1:31:51.24. The senior was joined in the top 10 individual finishers by sophomore teammate and younger sister Abigail Frankian, who finished 9th. A strong performance from freshman Mikala Fairchild, another local Santa Clarita product, earned her 29th overall and the third spot for the Mustangs.
The Mustang Challenge, hosted at Central Park for the fourth consecutive year, proved to be an early season showdown between top squads from the Golden State Athletic Conference, as the Biola Eagles narrowly edged the Lady Mustangs by six points in the team standings. The Mustang harriers closed the gap on Biola from two weeks earlier when the two teams each competed at the UC Irvine Invitational. This budding GSAC rivalry will be one to watch throughout the Fall with Westmont College also vying for a place of significance at the top of the GSAC performers.
Biola and The Master's were only outdone by NCAA Division I powerhouses Loyola Marymount and UCLA.
Looking ahead, the Lady Mustangs will next compete in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Oct. 3.