Spartan Men Battle Elements In Sixth-Place Finish

Malibu, Calif. -- The San Jose State University men’s cross country team finished sixth in the 10-team Pepperdine Invitational on Saturday, September 22. For the fourth time in his last six races, Sam Wambugu was the top Spartan finisher with a time of 26:00.12.

In running the first race after a rain-soaked evening, the Spartan men were uncertain on how the course would handle the overnight moisture. On the approach of dealing with the elements, men’s coach Jeff Argabright said, “We were not sure of the condition of the course, so we ran conservatively in the first part of the race. After we got a feel of the course, we finished pretty well.”

After being the fourth Spartan finisher at the USF Invitational, Wambugu, a 2006 All-WAC selection, regained his form and was the top Spartan finisher in 26th place.

On Wambugu’s performance, Argabright added, “Sam should be our top runner every week and should continue to get faster.”

San Jose State also had a strong showing by Chris Hart. The senior finished 29th with a time of 26:07.36, setting a new personal-best by almost 30 seconds.

Rigoberto Vasquez also set a new top time of 26:37.12, eclipsing his previous best from three weeks ago at the USF Invitational.

Argabright is excited about their next meet at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., saying, “We were there last year so we know the course. We should be able to go at 100 percent.”

In the team competition, UCLA took first place, while Cal State Fullerton finished second and Xavier took third. Erick Garcia of Fresno State was the top individual finisher with a time of 24:25.23.

Pepperdine Cross Country Invitational
Alumni Park, Malibu, Calif.

Team scores:
1. UCLA, 39. 2. Cal State Fullerton, 56. 3. Xavier, 76. 4. Fresno State, 120. 5. Norte Dame de Namur, 146. 6. SJSU, 163. 7. Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, 181. 8. Christian Brothers University, 219. 9. Men of Troy (USC), 236. 10. Pepperdine, 249.

Top finishers:
1.Erick Garcia (Fresno State) 24:25.23. 2. Evan Watchempino (UCLA) 24:26.60. 3. Ben Milroy (Xavier) 24:47.05. 4. Dylan Knight (UCLA) 24:51.83. 5. Sergio Tapia (CSUF) 24:53.08.

SJSU finishers: 26. Sam Wambugu, 26:00.12. 29. Chris Hart, 26:07.36. 37. Jonathan Gragert, 26:20.28. 40. David Haefele, 26:31.18. 42. Rigoberto Vasquez, 26:37.12. 48. Sean Dundon, 26:50.02. 50. Luke Galvan, 26:57.60. 53. Alan Shelton, 27:01.44. 70. Gordie Throne, 27:42.51. 86. David Blausey, 30:06.68.