CSUEB Track’s Front Runners

Elmo Rey Arciaga / The Pioneer

Philip Davis / Staff Writer

Chris Gallagher, 18, has a season-best time of 4:16 for the 1,500-meter.

The CSUEB track team traveled to Southern California this past weekend to attend the Pomona Invitational.

The Pioneers’ front-runner, Chris Gallagher, 18, ran a season’s best 4:16 in the 1,500-meter event. This beat his time of 4:20 set last week at the Johnny Mathis Invitational in San Francisco.

When asked what was different about this week compared to last Gallagher said, “I had a good week of practice and I felt very prepared going into this weekend’s race.”

Gallagher, a freshman, chose to attend CSUEB because of its track program. He previously attended Tahoe Truckee High School where he won back-to-back state championships in cross country skiing and was also a 4×800 relay champion in the Nevada State Track Championships. Gallagher was also on the school’s football team, which was ranked second in the state his senior year.

Gallagher has been exposed to competition and is used to winning.

“Originally I started running track just to stay in shape for football,” said Gallagher.

He looks to continue this streak into college as he becomes accustomed to the duality of college life and sports. Gallagher, who sometimes runs the 800, says that the 1,500 is his favorite. His goal for the remainder of the season is to keep having good practices.

“Our season is just about to end, I just want my teammates and I to end on a positive note, and for all of us to improve on our times before the season is over,” said Gallagher.

Front-runner for the Pioneer women’s team is graduating senior Nancy Velazquez, 22, who will be earning her B.A. in criminal justice this June. After finishing school, she desires to become a police officer.

Graduating senior Nancy Velazquez ran the 1,500-meter at the Pomona Invitational this weekend in 4:58.

“I eventually want to work my way up to S.W.A.T,” said Velazquez. The senior from San Jose is the women’s team captain.

Velazquez ran her season’s best at the Johnny Mathis invitational and was not far from that mark this past weekend running a time of 4:58 in the 1,500-meter event at the Pomona Invitational.

“This past race wasn’t what I expected, but I am still on track to break my personal record, and since this is my last season I am hoping to break the time of 4:46 next week at Berkeley,” said Velazquez.

Outside of track Velazquez likes ballroom dancing but says, “there is no time for ballroom dancing with track and school.”

Velazquez, who has ran for CSUEB since her freshman year, has been a constant in the CSUEB track family and will be missed.