SF State men’s cross country top runners start season strong in season opener

SF State Gators' junior Drew Feldman (right) shakes hands with Saint Mary's College junior Noah McDermott (left) after the 7250 meter race at Hellman Hallow Meadow in Golden Gate Park on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

[/media-credit] SF State Gators’ junior Drew Feldman (right) shakes hands with Saint Mary’s College junior Noah McDermott (left) after the 7250 meter race at Hellman Hallow Meadow in Golden Gate Park on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

The SF State men’s cross country team started off the 2016 season much like they ended their 2015 season, with Drew Feldman, Benji Preciado and Kenny Trejo finishing in the top 20 at Thursday’s season opener at Golden Gate Park.

Feldman finished fourth out of 48 runners, many of whom were from Division I teams, despite nursing an Achilles tendon injury he’s been dealing with since mid-August.

“Everybody has a few aches and pains, and they have to decide how to manage those,” head coach Tom Lyons said. “He knows what he’s doing.”

Feldman’s teammates, Trejo and Preciado, finished close behind, taking ninth and 16th place respectively.

Though there was not too much pressure or expectation going into the first meet of the season, Lyons said the men did as well as expected.

“It being the first meet we did want to just kind of get the uniforms on and race, but it doesn’t mean we were taking it lightly,” Lyons said. “The guys ran hard.”

Lyons said the more experienced runners knew exactly what they wanted to get out of the race, as a practice and preparation for the rest of the season, but it was nice to get some of the newer runners out and running for the first time.

The men’s team was short a few runners who were out sick.

Tom Lyons, SF State Gators' men's cross country head coach Tom Lyons signals to his team that it will be the last loop of the 7250 meter race at Hellman Hallow Meadow in Golden Gate Park on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

[/media-credit] Tom Lyons, SF State Gators’ men’s cross country head coach Tom Lyons signals to his team that it will be the last loop of the 7250 meter race at Hellman Hallow Meadow in Golden Gate Park on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

“I want us to stay healthy, efficient in our practices and just get good growth and progress within our team,” Trejo said.

As for his personal season goals, Trejo said he hopes to be one of the top finishers in the region this November at the NCAA Division II Regional Championships.

Trejo will have a chance to run at the regional championships course next weekend when the team competes in the Yellowjackets Invitational hosted by Montana State-Billings.

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