All or nothing’ mindset for cross country team

By James Choy

After winning the 8,000-meter run in their season opener at
Fullerton, the men’s cross-country team enters this fall with a
championship mentality.

“We have a great group of people with young talent who are going
to give us depth,” Head Coach Johnson said.

Entering his third season with the Broncos, Johnson has added a
number of junior college transfers to his roster. With the added
depth of returning runners, the Broncos find themselves young but
already proven after their big invite win at Fullerton on Sept.
5.

Led by their senior Jersain Torres, Johnson’s expectation is to
make the team better. With Torres’ experience competing last year
as the school’s top runner, finishing third in the CCAA run and
finishing fourth in the All-CCAA finals, his approach to this year
will be different coming in.

“Last year I was trying to get adjusted to the program because
it’s different to what I’m used to,” he said. “It’s a little harder
than the junior college level but with a year under my belt, I
think I’m ready for this year.”

Torres placed third in the Fullerton Invite leading the Broncos
with a running time of 26:00.9.

Some familiar names will be returning this year, including Clint
Hostetler, who was freshman of the year last year, Mariano Baez and
Mike Najera who are guys looking to step up this year, Johnson
said.

Added to that, the three runners who came out of the
back-to-back-to-back state champion San Bernardino Valley College,
Matt Prentice, Jose Marquez and Jose Lara, are a few of the added
pieces from the JC level that the Broncos have acquired.

Another of the JC transfers, Stephen Kent placed 23rd behind
with running mate and freshman Ryan Carrell, who came in 19th
running at 26:52.0.

“Carrell has a lot of potential,” Johnson said. “I think his
best running is in front of him”he’s had some injury problems that
we’re staying on top of, but I believe he will play a big part of
our cross-country squad.”

On the other side, the women’s cross-country team has also added
six new freshmen to the roster with senior Tiffany Turner leading
the team after placing fourth in the CCAA finish.

Turner placed second in the All-CCAA finals while teammate Amber
Hebb placed in twelfth.

“Without any new freshmen or transfers to the roster last year,
our group became more comfortable with each other,” Turner said.
“This year we have new teammates so we’re helping them get used to
the college running style.”

After a post-season injury from last year, Turner said she
admits being a little behind on her training.

“I’m a little scared,” she said. “I’m already getting back in
shape and I just need to work hard and get back to where I want to
be.”

Johnson, who also is the head coach for the women’s team, said
Turner was in the background and learning and growing and to be
determined as she is, has earned her to be one of the front runners
of the team.

“I believe her leadership on the course is going to play a big
part in the success of the women’s team,” Johnson said.

Turner did not compete in the Fullerton Invite but is currently
running with the team.

With the added list of freshman notables such as Tiffany Dinh
and Lauren Parr, Turner said she is confident her teammates will
improve the team.

“We have a really strong pack of runners up at the front so it’s
exciting,” Turner said.

The team will travel north for the Stanford Invitational this
Saturday at Stanford with the event starting at 8:00 a.m.

Reach James Choy at: sports@thepolypost.com

All or nothing

Paul Rosales/Poly Post

All or nothing’ mindset for cross country team

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