Aztecs place 4th at The Stump Invitational, three runners place in top 25

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SDSU Athletics

Jessica Kain (55) runs during the Anteater Invitation (Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)

by Morgan Prickett, Contributor

On the morning of Sept 10, the San Diego State women’s cross country team shot off for just their second race and first six-kilometer run of the season.

The Aztecs made the trip up to Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis to compete in the second annual Stump Invitational. 

The Stump Invitational was named after Sarah Sumpter, a 2012 track & field All-American and former UC Davis runner who managed to maintain an outstanding career despite a 2010 diagnosis of a brain tumor. Sadly, Sumpter passed at the age of 25.

Competing against schools such as Cal Poly, Sonoma St., UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara, the Aztecs finished 4th in team scoring, narrowly edging past Cal Poly in a tiebreaker.

“A lot of the teams that we were fighting with were teams that have beaten us by quite a bit in the last few years. If you look at the scores and team times you’ll note that we really weren’t far out of second place which is a huge improvement,” said assistant coach Robert Lusitana.

Of the 95 people who ran the 6k on Friday, three of SDSU’s own placed in the top 25. 

Junior Jessica Kain finished the highest at 19th.

With the addition of this race, Kain has extended her streak of being the highest placing Aztec to four consecutive races.

Seniors Carlene Masar and Emily Burd finished right behind Kain in 21st and 22nd respectively. 

Masar, who missed the Anteater Invitational the week prior due to a niggling back injury, has finished in the top two among Aztecs in every race she has run. She did well to continue her streak as she placed second among Aztecs behind Kain.

When asked what has contributed to her strong form, Masar credited her teammates.

“The people I have around me push me to be better. I run with my teammates every day in practice so I know where I am in comparison to them. When I see my teammates in the race, I’m comfortable running with them.”

Practice has made perfect for Massar and it has been evident in her performances.

“She recovered from her injury and ran a stellar race,” said coach Lusitana. “She is super exceptional, very self-motivated, and a really great student-athlete.”

The remaining five Aztec runners (Junior Lauren Harper, sophomore Amber Elias, freshman Nicole Meyer, junior Taylor Lustyan, and senior Naomi Smitham) all placed in the top 55 with Harper finishing the highest at 32nd.

Coach Lusitana shared his thoughts on the team’s performance in their first 6k of the season:

“I think that we competed really well. I think this group of student-athletes are super motivated to build a program and get better so yesterday was a great step forward.”

The Aztecs will remain in San Diego for their next race as they partake in the USD Invitational at Tecolote Shores and Mission Bay on Sept. 17th.

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