Women’s cross-country team to race in nationals

By Anneli Fogt

Despite freezing temperatures and a slick course, the Cal Poly
Pomona men’s and women’s cross-country teams both raced very well
at the NCAA Div. II West Regional Championships last Saturday at
Lake Paddon Park in Bellingham, Wash. The men’s team took fifth
place while the women’s team took fourth.

For the women’s team, its fourth-place finish means nationals in
two weeks.

“We have no reason to be disappointed. We gave it all we had,”
said cross-country head coach Troy Johnson. “When a team qualifies,
it’s the whole team that stands out, not the efforts of one
individual. It was great. We ran and competed to win…”

The women’s team took fourth place in its 6-kilometer race and
will advance to the NCAA Div. II Nationals in Louisville, Ky. on
Dec. 4.

The women’s team’s nationals appearance will be only the third
in Cal Poly Pomona’s women’s cross-country history. The last time
that the Bronco women made it to nationals was 1991.

The women were led by sophomore Tiffany Dinh, who came in eighth
place with a time of 23 minutes and 2.4 seconds and earned All-West
Region Honors. She was followed by junior Diana Zapata (23:59.8) in
26th place and senior Amber Hebb (24:04.2) in 29th.

Behind them was the trio of senior Sarah Garcia (24:46.4) in
60th, freshman Fabiola Lugo (24:49.0) in 62nd and freshman Sarah
Gulli (24:52.9) in 66th.

“Given the circumstances, everyone did really well,” Dinh said.
“It was really cold and people were slipping and sliding
everywhere. It was good. We’re going to nationals so that’s very
exciting.”

The men’s team took fifth place overall in its 10-km race, just
one spot away from advancing to nationals.

Although it just barely missed nationals, the men’s team placed
its top five runners in spots 25 through 36, making it the most
tightly-packed of the 22 teams in the race.

“For me, it went pretty well,” said senior Stephen Kent. “As a
team, we were very tight, but just too far back in the entire
pack.”

The men were led by freshman Ryan Carrell (33:07.9) in 25th. He
was followed closely by Kent (33:16.9) in 29th, junior Gustavo Cruz
(33:26.4) in 33rd, senior Jose Marquez (33:28.9) in 34th and senior
Matt Prentice (33:30.1) in 36th. Cruz and Carrell came away with
personal records for a 10-km course.

Not far behind the lead pack were junior Scott McMichael
(33:49.6) in 46th and senior Jose Lara (34:17.4) in 56th.

In two weeks, the Bronco women will travel to E.P. “Tom” Sawyer
State Park in Louisville, Ky. for the NCAA Div. II National
Championships. Here, the Cal Poly Pomona women’s cross-country team
will have the opportunity to become national champions for the
first time ever.

Women

Erik Carr/The Poly Post

Women’s cross-country team to race in nationals

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