Menlo College's Megan Thompson successfully defended her title at the Pacific Union Cross Country Invitational on Sunday, racing a 21:07 to complete the 5K course in Angwin and beating a foursome from UC Merced, which won the team title.
"Megan ran a smart, controlled race, taking advantage of her experience on the course to make a move over the last mile." Oaks coach Noel said. "She just gets stronger and stronger with every competition."
Noble Boutin ran in his first collegiate 8K and led the Menlo men's team, finishing seventh in 30:11.3. UC Merced had four runners among the top five to win the team competition.
Thompson, who attended Burlingame High, came from behind to earn the victory. After two miles of adventuring through the difficult, hilly course, she was in third place, behind a pair of UC Merced runners.
She pulled ahead in the final stretch and eventually won by 18 seconds. Thompson raced 35 seconds faster than her winning time of a year ago.
Stephanie Sanchez ran 25:49 and finished 19th overall. Hunter Dupee, Antarpreet Dhariwal, and Emily Abrams completed the Menlo scoring contingent.
Boutin, a freshman out of Sacramento, was joined by Richard Runkle-Edens, who placed 14th in the race at 31:44.7.
"Noble is bucking the trend that freshman have trouble adjusting to the 8K distance,” Noel said. “He ran a mature race, all the more impressive for the elevation changes."
Erick Parsons rounded out the Menlo men with a 36:28 time.
"We have started the season with two very tough courses, and have still competed well,” Noel said. “We're excited to have some flatter, faster courses ahead so we can really fly."
Menlo competes in the Golden Gate Invite, hosted by San Francisco State, on Friday, October 7 at 3:30 p.m.