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The UC Merced men's and women's cross country teams finished up their inaugural season Friday at the California Pacific Conference Championships at Pacific Union College. Three Golden Bobcat runners — freshman Daniel Pena, freshman Jillian Foster and sophomore Alexandria Curtis — placed in the top seven of their respective races, earning all-conference honors for their efforts.
Pena, fresh off of UC Merced's first-ever individual victory at the Cal Pac Preview meet two weeks prior, placed second on Friday in a time of 27 minutes, 2 seconds. That put him just four seconds behind champion Fernando Diaz of Holy Names, who finished in 26:58.
The men's team championship was won by William Jessup University. UC Merced, as a first-year NAIA program, was not eligible to score as a team or to move on to postseason competition.
After Pena, UC Merced's top finisher was Andrew Pierce, who placed 12th with a time of 29:15. Other UC Merced runners included: Nicholas Stefanyshyn (20th, 29:15), Miguel Ayala (21st, 31:23), Rogelio Grijalva (25th, 32:09) and Adrian Garcia (32nd, 34:54).
Foster took fourth place in the women's race, finishing in a time of 21:53, while Curtis placed sixth in 22:08. The Bobcats also got a strong showing from Sunny Partington, who finished 11th in 22:53, while Amy Yeoman placed 20th in 25:12 and Lindsay Allwood was 23rd in 25:47.
Holy Names' Agnes Silvestro won the women's race in a time of 19:00, while Simpson University claimed the women's team championship.