On Saturday, the Broncos’ men and women’s cross country teams placed first at the 2019 Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, which was held in Claremont.
The cross country teams came out on top out of nine other teams in the meet. The men’s team’s top five runners earned a final score of 35 points with freshman Diego Duran finishing third overall with a time of 25 minutes and 28.6 seconds in the men’s 8 K event. Duran had the fastest time out of the men’s team and felt proud to be representing Cal Poly Pomona for his first time.
“Today’s cross country meet was difficult. It was my first season in uniform, so it was a new experience to wear the Bronco uniform and be out there with my teammates actually representing the school now,” Duran said. “It was a good experience overall. I feel like I have some things to work on, but I’m really happy that we were able to take first place. That was the big achievement for today.”
The men’s team had three runners finish top 10 overall in the meet. The top five runners for the men’s team combined for a time of 2:08:11.8. Duran feels that both the men’s and women’s teams did really well because of their unity and effort to motivate one another. He believes both teams will carry their great efforts into the upcoming championship season.
“There’s always room to improve coming into championship season, but overall (the meet) was really good; the team did really well. We were moving together as a pack and we were actually looking out for each other,” Duran said. “When we (would) see a teammate, I think it just motivated us to go and be with them and move towards the pack, so that we could be closer and score less for the team.”
The women’s team had four runners finish top 10 overall in the meet. The top five runners for the women’s team scored 34 points and combined for a time of 1:53:31.6. Sophomore Luz Garcia led the Broncos pack, finishing the 6 K run with a time of 22:11.5 and placing second out of 83 runners.
Associate head coach Wes Ashford is proud about both teams’ performances and likes the way the teams are improving. However, he said he would like to see both teams strive for more as they start entering the championship season.
“I’m really pleased with how well the athletes performed today. We’re not quite where we want to be, but we’re moving in the right direction. And today’s results indicated that things are going in the right direction, so hopefully we can keep it going that way,” coach Ashford said. “I think the way they ran together as a team is a positive and will help us moving forward throughout the championship season.”
The Broncos’ men’s and women’s cross country teams have been placing high in their earlier meetings and are heading into their CCAA Cross Country Championships season, which starts at 10 a.m. Oct. 26 in the city of Arcata.
Pomona-Pitzer finished behind Cal Poly Pomona in both men’s and women’s teams. Their men’s team combined for a score of 50 points with a total time of 2:08:40, and women’s team combined for a score of 62 points with a total time of 1:55:38.