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49er cross country kicks off 2012 campaign at Mark Covert Classic on Saturday

Long Beach State opens the season at the Mark Covert Classic in Brea on Saturday, Sept. 1.

Aug. 29, 2012

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LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State cross country squad begins the 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, when it heads to Carbon Canyon Park in Brea for the Mark Covert Classic.

The Mark Covert Classic, formerly known as the Fullerton Season Opener, is hosted by Cal State Fullerton in Brea. The men's 8K is scheduled for an 8:15 a.m. start, while the women's 5K will begin at 8:55 a.m.

The course consists of multiple loops alternating between a 1K grass inner loop in the main section of Carbon Canyon Park and a dirt trail nature loop.

Last year at the season opener in Brea, the Long Beach State men claimed the team title with 25 points, while the women finished second (61 points). The 49ers swept the top individual honors with Heath Reedy and Rosa Del Toro taking first in the men's 8K and women's 6K, respectively. Nina Moore made it a one-two finish for the LBSU women, while Michelle Thompson came in 11th. Jake Dawson (6th), Andrew Garcia (7th) and Jared Long (9th) added top-10 showings on the men's side.

Both the Long Beach State men and women were featured in the USTFCCCA preseason regional rankings. The women were 13th in the West Region, while the men debuted at No. 14.

The Long Beach State men's and women's cross country squads are both coming off solid finishes in 2011. The 49er women were runners-up at the Big West Championships and placed 19th at the NCAA West Regional. Rosa Del Toro claimed the program's first-ever Big West Cross Country Athlete of the Year award after winning the individual title at the conference meet. Michelle Thompson also garnered all-league honors with a fifth-place performance.

The LBSU men took third at the Big West Championships and had a ninth-place showing at the NCAA West Regional, marking their highest finish since 1988. Heath Reedy and Matt Maldonado earned All-Big West honors, while Reedy was also a USTFCCCA All-Region performer after crossing the finish line in 18th place.

Long Beach State has six current student-athletes that find themselves ranked among the top-10 in school history. Heath Reedy owns the program record in the men's 8K at 23:47.2. Jake Dawson ranks ninth on the all-time 8K list (24:30.1), while Reedy is also sixth in the 10K (29:52).

On the women's side, Michelle Thompson is second in the 6K (20:44.7). Nina Moore also ranks fourth in the 5K at 17:25 and eighth in the 6K at 21:07.3. Also among the top-10 in the 5K are Alisia Barajas (17:32) and Annie Randall (17:33).

The 49ers return to the course next weekend when they make the short trip to Irvine for the adidas/UCI Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8.



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