Broncos Finish 17th in Nationals

By Albert Perez

Heading into Saturday’s NCAA Division II Championships in
Pensacola, Florida, Cal Poly’s men’s cross country team had the
sole intention of surpassing two consecutive 14th place finishes by
cracking the top ten at nationals.

Unfortunately for the team, they will have to wait until next
year.

Running at the Escambia Country Equestrian Center, the Broncos
made their fourth straight appearance in the national championships
and finished 17th overall out of 24 teams.

“We have had better days,” said head coach Jim Sackett.

Unlike any courses the Broncos have encountered this season,
Saturday’s course was entirely flat; this didn’t do the Broncos any
favors according to Sackett.

“There were no hills, it was a very fast course,” said Sackett.
“I think we’re more of a strength team and not a speed team.”

Despite the overall team finish, every runner for the Broncos
finished with their personal best time for a 10k race.

Junior Gerardo Rabelo, who was running in his first nationals,
was the Broncos’ top runner finishing 47th with a time of 31:09.5
over a 10,000-meter course.

Despite his lack of experience participating in nationals he
felt the track suited his fast style of running, but felt that by
not cracking the top ten as a team was a disappointment for the
entire team.

“We’re very disappointed,” said Rabelo. “We feel we could’ve
done better, but we just couldn’t stay together as a pack.”

Senior Miguel Cabanas was 86th in 31:58.0; junior Kendall Lopez
was 91st in 32:01.3, sophomore Kevin Urak was 92nd in 32:01.7 and
senior Isaac Perez was 105th in 32:17.2 to complete the scoring for
the Broncos.

Senior Eddie Venegas was 119th in 32:38.6 and freshman Derek
DeSantiago was 128th in 32:50.5 to finish the race for the
Broncos.

Abilene Christian won the national championship with 57 points,
while Adams State was second with 70 points. Western State was
third with 113 points and Chico State was fourth with 137
points.

Albert Perez can be reached at sports@thepolypost.com or by
phone at (909) 869-4630.

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