SANTA BARBRA, Calif.- HIU cross country raced in their second meet of the season at a tri-meet hosted by Westmont on Friday. The Royals raced against conference foes Westmont and William Jessup. Both the Women's and Men's races were shorter distances than usual, the women ran a 4k and the men ran a 6k. 

The women raced first and Aurora Couto (FR/Winchester, CA) was able to stay just outside the top back of Westmont runners at the start of the race. As the race progressed Couto was able to consistently pass opponents throughout the remainder of the race. Couto finished in the top five with a time of 16:32 (5th place overall). Couto was followed by Sofia Guiterrez (18:28) and Tabitha Abbey (SR/Fullerton, CA) (18:52). 

"All three of the women were able to pick it up and close hard for the last half mile of the race", said Assistant Coach Janna Langrell.

On the men's side, Andrew Valle (SR/Whittier, CA), Anthony Ramos (SR/Rialto, CA), and Joseph Clemons (SO/Val Verde, CA) started strong leading the pack and running an extremely consistent first and second mile. The four lead runners, including two Royals, missed a turn at one point of the course, which put those runners out of contention. Joseph Clemons finished fourth overall, behind three Westmont runners, with a time of 21:24. Ethan Escamilla (FR) finished 14th overall with a time of 23:09. 

"All four men look stronger and ran more consistent splits than two weeks ago. It was a great opportunity to get to race William Jessup and Westmont again before conference, "Assistant Coach Janna Langrell.

Both teams had no team score due to injuries on the women's side and only four runners on the men's side.

HIU cross country returns to action on October 24th at the Warrior Invitational hosted by William Jessup at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin.