By Sofia Garcia and Emily Montano, Sept. 13, 2022
Cal Poly Pomona’s women’s cross-country team began the 2022 season with a second-place finish at its first meet in Redlands, California, on Saturday, Sept. 3.
The top-two finish was a welcome sight to head coach Chris Bradford, who is happy to see his team get a substantial start in the early season.
“We ran as a pack better and challenged ourselves more in this race than we have in recent times,” said Bradford.
The Broncos finished at 1:27:58, averaging 17:35 per runner, and finishing just 48 seconds slower than first place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas, over a minute faster than third place California Institute of Technology.
Freshman Julia Butler finished fifth among all freshman in a standout performance for CPP. Butler placed 17th out of 69 runners, and her breakout performance has her and the rest of the team excited for the season to come.
“As a first college race, I think it went pretty well,” Butler said. “I felt like my training had prepared me pretty well.”
Butler elaborated that her coaches made sure the teams stayed in packs throughout the race, helping the Broncos keep their team time down.
Bradford, who is in his sixth season with CPP, agrees that the pack component played a big role in the team’s success — something the Broncos will look to build on heading into their Sept. 24 race at Cal State San Marcos.
“What I’m hoping they can do is continue to run to their race plan, continue to challenge themselves in the middle of the race, continue to work together, and I think that we’re in a good position,” Bradford said.
According to Bradford, it will be important for his team to stick to this strategy because the upcoming race will have six or seven of the top ten teams in the region.
“If you focus on a process, the results will take care of themselves,” said Bradford.
Bradford intended this message to reach the entire roster and runners who have already completed this season, like Butler.
While most of the team had the chance to race Sept. 3, some runners will be getting their first taste of college cross country later this season.
One of these runners is freshman Andrea Guadian, who is eager and excited to make her mark later in the season.
Guadian said that it was important for her to continue “developing a strong mindset towards running and reaching towards something like having patience with running as well.”
Guadian felt welcome in a short time, reaping the benefits of being part of the team.
“I’m really looking forward to just getting to know the team better,” Guadian said. “The coaches and teammates have been really nice so far.”
Guadian and Butler are not the only fresh1man on the team. Most of the roster is composed of underclassmen, so Bradford predicts that his ambitions will be opportunities for the team to improve.
“Basically, out of 15 girls on the rosters, we have two seniors and 13 freshmen and sophomores,” Bradford said. “Honestly I think every day I’m seeing new things, and our goals continue to evolve based on the growth of our team.”
With more training, Bradford believes that the team’s success will go beyond their meet on Sept. 24.
“I think if we start doing the little things we talked about, about consistency, about challenging ourselves in practice and races, I think we’ll definitely improve our placing not only conference-wise but regionally from last year,” Bradford said.
Feature Image Courtesy of CPP Athletics.
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