Men’s cross countryLast Saturday, The Master’s University cruised to an unprecedented fifth-place finish at the 2016 NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championships by clocking a collective team time of two hours, eight minutes and 48.60 seconds. At the conclusion of the 8k race, run on the North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Illinois, the fifth-ranked Mustangs claimed 261 points and clocked an average time of 25:45.72. TMU’s team time is the second-fastest performance that the Mustangs have recorded at the NAIA National Championships. In 2011, the Mustangs assembled a program-best collective time of 2:06:33. Michael Sciarra was the first Mustang runner to cross the finish line as the senior placed 32nd overall in 25:17. Rickey Buckelew finished the national championship 8k in 61st-place in 25:42.50, Josh Sherfey earned a 73rd-place finish with a final time of 25:50.90, while Alec Franco placed 81st in 25:53.50. Andrew Orona finished the morning with a final time of 26:04.70 (109th overall), Stephen Pacheco’s performance was marked by a time of 26:35.10 (189), while Skyler Mikesell finished the race in 27:34.70 (274).
Women’s cross countryOn Saturday, The Master’s University women’s cross country team placed 10th out of a field of 36 teams with a collective time of 1:33:04.26 at the 2016 NAIA National Championships. The sixth-ranked Mustangs claimed 369 points and clocked an average time of 18:36.86 at the conclusion of the 5k race ran on the North Farm Cross Country Course. TMU’s team time is the second-fastest performance that the Mustangs have recorded at the NAIA National Championships. Last year, the Mustangs clocked a program-best collective time of 1:32:44. Highlighting TMU’s performance was Abigail Frankian as the junior runner placed 13th overall out of a field of 334 competitors at 17:35.35. Frankian’s performance earned her NAIA All-American honors as the top 30 finishers at the national championships earn this accolade. Frankian repeats these honors from last season when she finished the national championship race in 17:51.8. Mikala Fairchild earned a 48th-place finish after clocking a final time of 18:13.14, while Rachael Ingoldsby placed 85th overall at 18:38.24. Elsewhere, Morgan Pedrick finished the 5k in 19:02.85 (128th overall), Rachel Rush clocked a final time of 19:34.68 (202), and Emma Bahr earned a final time of 19:35.32 (248). Rylee Bishop’s performance gave her a final time of 20:02.04 (262).
Men’s basketballThe Master’s University men’s basketball team improved its 2016-17 record to 5-0 after beating Bethesda University 101-86 last Thursday night on TMU’s Bross Court. Notably, out of TMU’s five games played this season, Thursday’s victory marked the fourth time that the Mustangs have passed the century mark in scoring. Mustang newcomer Lawrence Russell posted TMU’s lone double-double after scoring 16 points and grabbing an evening-high 12 rebounds. Not to be overlooked, McClain posted 22 points, while Hansel Atencia scored 14 more. Atencia also led TMU in assists (11), while Lawrence posted a game-high four steals. The Mustangs return to action on November 29 when they travel to San Dimas for a 7 p.m. tilt against Life Pacific College.
Women’s basketballThe Master’s University women’s basketball team opened its 2016-17 season with a 68-53 win over Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University of Arizona last Friday night on Bross Court. Three Mustangs finished the evening by scoring in double-digits: Bianca Cubello (16), Megan Lindsley (13), and Ashley Bartow (10). Notably, Bartow finished the evening with eight rebounds and six steals. Hannah Forrar posted four assists. Collectively, the Mustangs went 28-67 (41 percent) from the field, 4-18 (22 percent) from behind the arc, and 8-12 (66 percent) from the free-throw line. The next day, Jamilee Iddings scored a game-high 18 points and senior All-American Bianca Cubello notched a double-double to lead TMU to an 87-43 walloping of La Verne on Saturday on Bross Court. The victories improved TMU’s record to 2-0. Iddings’ game-high total came on 7-14 shooting from the field, including a 4-8 mark from behind the arc. Cubello’s 17 points and game-high 13 rebounds marked her first double-double of the season and the 15th of her career. Bartow finished with 15 points and Forrar chipped in with 11 more as the starters combined for 69 of the team’s 87 points. Senior Kelly Burns led the second unit with seven points and 12 rebounds. The Mustangs hope to keep up the progress on Tuesday when they travel to Thousand Oaks to take on Cal Lutheran. This weekend, TMU will host the 2016 Jersey Mike’s Thanksgiving Classic. On Friday, the Mustangs will play Lewis-Clark State of Idaho at 2 p.m., and will turn around and play the University of Southwest the next day at the same time. For more information about The Master’s University Athletics, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @TMUAthletics.