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ART U Cross Country Cheered to Top Half at SF State Invite

It was a buoyant atmosphere for the Urban Knights as they finished strong to sixth place

XC Group (by Rob Garcia)

Cross Country. Photo by Rob Garcia.

More than 170 Urban Knight Nation faithful seemed to be there at every turn on Oct. 9, cheering on Academy of Art University cross country to strong finishes at the SF State Invitational. The women’s team, led by sophomore McKaela Christenson’s 19th place individual result, took ninth overall. On the men’s side, senior Valentin Pepiot (Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media) placed second, helping ART U earn sixth as a team.

The first race on a sunny afternoon at Golden Gate Park was the women’s 6k through Speedway Meadows. Christenson (Fashion Design) started fast, hanging among the top 20 runners through the first mile, and she would remain in the leading group. A final time of 22:31.2 put her 19th as a scoring individual.

Crossing the finish line in 27th, junior Kaelyn Harbison (Graphic Design) finished at 22:48.5 while junior Emily McCarty (Fashion Design) delivered a time of 23:12.2 for 41st overall. The Urban Knights’ top five was rounded out by sophomore Jamie Morris (Fine Art – Painting) in 81st (24:41.5) and Madeline Dignadice (Photography) in 89th (25:01.8).

In ninth overall as a team, the Academy bested host SF State, fellow PacWest member Fresno State and NCAA Division I Santa Clara among others.

XC - Valentin Pepiot (by Rob Garcia

Valentin Pepiot. Photo by Rob Garcia.

In the men’s 8k race, Pepiot remained focused at the front of the pack and maintained that placement for the entirety of the competition. His final mile (6:01.73) was his best and helped him finish second of 235 runners with a time of 24:44.3.

Backing up his fellow Frenchman, graduate student Pierre Fontanarosa (Multimedia Communications) placed 27th at 25:45.3 while freshman Phillip Kruse (Photography) came in at 26:23.5 in 4th among scoring individuals. Graduate student Kris Everett (Advertising) was not far behind in 52nd (26:30.2) and sophomore Chris Costa (Motion Pictures & Television) completed the ART U quintet in 63rd (26:42.6).

The sixth place result for ART U had them ahead of NCAA DI Santa Clara, Humboldt State and Fresno Pacific among others.