On October 31, both the Pioneers men’s and women’s cross country teams headed to Fresno, Calif., to compete in their last meet of the season, the Cal Pac Championship. The Pioneers gave their all on the fast Woodward Park course for the last time of their 2016 season. The women participated in a 5k race while the men ran an 8k.
Junior Dirce Pliego led the women with a time of 22:35.5, landing her in 26th place overall. Pliego has finished first for the women Pioneers all season, constantly working hard to improve her time. Sisters Kiren and Elise Moore finished with times of 23:19.4 and 23:21.9, respectively, finishing in 31st and 32nd place overall. The other seven team scoring members included Fatima Sosa (24:03.0, 40th), Erika Thalman (24:11.4, 42nd), Chloe Bergquist (24:36.1, 44th), and Gabrielle Dennis (24:54.6, 46th). Supporting team members Kyra Baker (25:30.9, 51st) and Prindid Montoya (26:20.8, 55th) fell from their top seven placing with difficult races. Rounding out the rest of the team were Daisy Alcantar (27:40.4, 59th) and Linda Duncan (27:52.9, 61st).
Nine teams and 69 runners competed in the women’s championship. The Pioneers came in with a total 158 points, good for a respectable 5th place behind Embry-Riddle, Soka University, UC Merced, and Marymount. Their average time was 23:30.4 and a cumulative team time of 1:57:32.3.
In the men’s race, freshman Eric Daniels continued to lead the team placing 26 overall with a time of 31:01.2. Close behind, Kyle Bullington crossed the line in 30th place with a clock time of 31:24.7. The rest of the 5-man team, Michal Spegman (34:03.2, 48th), Dalton Williams (40:48.1, 63rd), and Daniel Vega (42:37.6, 67th) completed the team score.
Out of the eight compete teams and 67 runners, the Pioneers men’s team came in with a total of 190 points, good for seventh place. Their overall team time was 2:59:55:1 with an average time of 35:59.0.
The Pioneers cross country teams have found success again this season. The women’s team finished the championship race in a higher placing than last season, even with greater competition. The men’s team continues to build their program with strong potential from the remaining young runners. Both teams displayed hard work and have pushed themselves to finish strong. The Pioneers thank seniors Daniel Vega, Chloe Bergquist, Gabrielle Dennis, and Elise Moore for their determination, tenacious attitudes, and sacrifice spent on the cross country team. We thank each player for defining what it means to be a Pioneer and look forward to improving and growing in the 2017 season.
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