Cal Poly Pomona’s cross country teams competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) West Region Cross Country Championships this past Saturday in Monmouth, Oregon, to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships.
The women’s cross country team came in sixth place, earning 168 points overall. This score fell behind the championship winner, Chico State, who earned 75 points.
Still, the results of this meet will assure the team’s third time placing in the top six in the last four championships.
Sophomore Luz Garcia ran a 6 kilometer race in 21 minutes and 8.8 seconds, landing her 13th place out of 186 runners. This was followed by senior Araseli Servin, who came in 22nd place running the same distance in 21:21.1. Both runners finished in the top 25 overall.
Head coach of CPP cross country teams, Wes Ashford, commented that the women’s team “(is) in a good position.” He claims the team “has a good chance to make it to nationals,” which will be announced on Nov. 11.
The Ash Creek Preserve in Monmouth also hosted the men’s cross country race, where the CPP men’s team took home second place out of 28 teams, with an overall score of 115 points. This was behind championship winner Chico State, who took home both the men’s and women’s regional title.
This is the team’s best regional result since 2004-6, when the CPP men’s team placed second for three consecutive years.
Ashford was pleased with the men’s team performance, stating, “They ran a great race. They showed out to be the good team we had been expecting, they came together at the right moment.”
Eamon Smythe was the top finisher for the Broncos, coming in at 10th place, running the 10-kilometer race in 30:14.3. He commented, “I think I personally did well. Tenth place, and I didn’t start feeling bad until about three-fourths of the way through.”
Sophomore Nicholas Albro came in 17th (30:32) and junior Jeremiah Suzara came in 25th (30:45.8) place,.They both made the top 25 finishes alongside Smythe.
When asked about the team’s performance, Smythe said, “We finally started working together.” He explained how he felt the team worked at its expected potential, despite its rough start in the early season.
Finishing in the top three automatically qualifies this year’s CPP men’s cross country team to nationals. This is the second year in a row the men’s team made it to the top three teams and the sixth time in the past seven championships.
Smythe said the team was “stoked” about finding out it qualified for the nationals, about five to 10 minutes after the race had ended. Last year, the Broncos placed 25th at nationals.
This will be CPP’s 21st time attending the NCAA Championships. They will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento.
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