COSTA MESA, Calif. - From August 10th-17th the two squads will head up to Mammoth Lakes for their annual training and bonding trip before starting their six meet season on September 2nd at the CSU Fullerton Mark Cover Classic at Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea. This season the Lions will host two events (27th Annual Vanguard Invitational and GSAC Championships) both at Irvine Regional Park in Orange.
The VU women's cross country team will be dramatically improved this year with the addition of a highly talented trio of freshmen (Marissa Thompson (FR), Savannah Yi (FR) and Omi Renfroe (FR) and the return of two of last season's top contributors (Morgan Tapia (SR/Eastville, CA) and Bethany Hinson (SO/Santa Clarita, CA)). Providing additional depth to the roster are returner Addie Blair and newcomer Joanna Miguez (FR). This group has the potential to be the first VU women's team to qualify to NAIA Nationals since 2006 and should be very competitive within the Golden State Athletic Conference. I'm very excited to see what these ladies will accomplish this fall.
Over on the men's side, the cross country team picks up three new additions including two highly talented runners in Cade Clark (JR/Riverside, CA) (transfer) and Caleb Myers (FR) (freshman). Two of last year's top-5 return, Jeronimo Brito (SR/Riverside, CA) (2016 NAIA individual national qualifier) and Noah Meister (SO/San Dimas, CA). Also joining the team is incoming freshman Nick Altamiran (FR/Fresno, CA). Returner Brandon Joseph (JR/Riverside, CA) will redshirt this fall due to medical reasons. Our men will need to exceed expectation in order to qualify to nationals as a team, but it's highly possible we can get some of our top guys qualified individually. I know this group will work extremely hard and do all they can to be successful.