By Lindsey Allen |Staff Writer|
The CSUSB women’s cross country team is working hard and continuing to succeed on their journey to the NCAA West Regional in Hawaii.
During the CCAA Championships on Oct. 20 in La Jolla, the team finished 8th in the 11-team race with 201 points.
Freshman Patricia Cortez was a particular stand-out, finishing 23rd and earning the spot of CSUSB’s top runner for the conference. She covered the 6,000 meter course in 23 minutes, 1.3 seconds.
“I was excited to see my effort paid off,” Cortez said.
She also expressed how hard the team worked at this race, and how everybody did better due to vigorous practicing.
“As a team everyone improved as well. Everyone has been showing such hard work during practice, and as a result we did awesome as a team,” said Cortez.
Katherine Gomez finished 41st (23:40.7) in the race and has also been showing strength and determination during this season. Especially when she lead the Coyotes at the UC San Diego Tritons Invitational on Oct. 6.
Sarah Colorado finished 46th in 23:47.3, Courtney Ciraulo 49th (23:50.3) and Krystal Cota 60th (24:10.4) rounded out the top five.
The final five of the 10 Coyote runners were: Deserae Perez 61st (24:12.8), Jackeline Felix 62nd (24:13.7), Marisela Giles-Hernadez 66th (24:23.9), Elizabeth Hernandez 74th (24:49.6) and Kristina Huelga 85th (25:21.9).
Coach Tom Burleson, who is now in his 22nd season as head coach of the Coyotes’ women’s cross country team, said about this conference, “Eight out of ten of our runners had personal records for the day. I am pleased with how everything turned out. They were well prepared, and anytime you run a personal best you know you were trying your hardest.”
Burleson also stressed just how competitive the race in La Jolla was and said out of the top six teams, five of them are top 10 in the west and two are top 10 in the nation.
“We were only 11 points from finishing 7th; that’s how close and competitive it was,” said Burleson.
He considers the Coyotes one of the top 10 teams in the west and is hoping to continue preparing for NCAA West Regionals, which are hosted by Hawaii Pacific University in Kahuku, Hawaii on Nov. 3.
“I’m hoping to step up and beat some teams- they are all in shape and ready as far as conditioning goes, now we are working on the mental aspect, maintaining and keeping everyone from getting sick or injured.”
Cortez added when asked about NCAA West Regionals, “I am excited for Hawaii. It’s a really big deal. I believe our team is prepared mentally and physically. We also need to be prepared for the climate change and the humidity!”
The girls have been practicing diligently at 6 a.m. and are on track to do even better than they did in La Jolla.
Their mentality is positive and they will continue to do everything they can to be physically and mentally prepared for Nov. 3.
Undoubtedly the Coyotes will push themselves and persevere to success when they head to Hawaii this weekend for the NCAA West Regionals.