Waves' Lawrence, Smith Post Wins in Malibu Oceanside Open
Sept. 1, 2011Aneasha Lawrence was the first of five straight Waves to cross the finish line as the women's cross country team soundly defeated CSU Bakersfield, 15-44, in the annual Malibu Oceanside Open on Thursday evening.
Lawrence's (Sun Valley, Calif./Village Christian HS) first career victory came by a 27-second margin, as she finished the 5k Alumni Park course in 19:12. She was followed by sophomore Adrianna Davies (Coronado, Calif./Coronado HS) and seniors Courtney Rolando (Longmont, Colo./Silver Creek HS), Paige Mobley (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) and Hannah DeWalt (Gig Harbor, Wash./Gig Harbor HS) in the second through fifth positions, respectively.
Lawrence was in the lead practically the entire race, running evenly with one of CSU Bakersfield's athletes for the first third of the race before taking control and separating from the rest of the pack.
In the men's event, Pepperdine senior Kenny Smith (Willits, Calif./Willits HS) captured the crown with a time of 16:47, beating junior Jonathan Rahaeuser (Irvine, Calif./Calvary Chapel HS) by six seconds. The men's race consisted of Pepperdine's current runners while alumni were also invited to compete.
More than a thousand Pepperdine students were in Alumni Park for an International Programs event being held at the same time, so the Waves' runners had plenty of support.
"We had to modify the course a little bit," Pepperdine Coach Robert Radnoti said. "But it turned out to be a plus because so many people were here to cheer on their classmates. There were also some trenches (due to the Waves of Flags display being installed) but the foreman did a great job of covering them up. This was a real cross country meet."
Radnoti praised his team's effort in its first showing of the season.
"The women had some real competition in Bakersfield," he said. "Like they've done before, they went out really hard and it looked like they were leading the race about halfway through. That had me a little concerned, but I always tell the team that the goal is to finish strong. Aneasha was running neck and neck with a Bakersfield runner for a while but pulled away and she ran a very good race.
"We had hoped for some more alumni participation in the men's race, but because of some injuries and surgeries and people being out of town we had to largely compete against ourselves. Kenny Smith ran a nice, smooth race and then really opened it up the last mile."
Next up for Pepperdine is the UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 10.
"I'm really pleased with what we were able to accomplish tonight," Radnoti said. "It sets us up nicely for our next meet nine days from now."