Last Saturday's second annual Mustang Challenge Cross Country Invitational, which took place at Santa Clarita Central Park, shined the spotlight directly on a TMC program that more than held its own against a loaded field of NAIA and NCAA Division I athletes.
On the women's side, Mustang senior Hannah Kellerman finished with a time of 17 minutes, 49.76 seconds in the 5k event. Kellerman's time was almost three seconds ahead of the nearest competitor in the collegiate division runner and was good enough for third place across all divisions, which included a star-studded squad from UCLA.
The Mustang women took second as a team to Cal-State San Marcos in the collegiate division. The outstanding showing helped vault the Lady Mustangs to No. 9 in the latest NAIA national rankings -- the first time in the program's history the women's team has cracked the top 10.
John Hurd (25:35.34) and Matthew Chrichton (25:39.48) finished 12th and 13th in the collegiate division, respectively, to lead the way for TMC 's men's team in the 8k event. The Mustangs, who are ranked No. 11 in the NAIA national poll, finished third in the collegiate race behind Cal-State San Marcos and Glendale.
The Mustang men and women will face more NCAA Division I competition Saturday when they race in the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.