The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Cross Country at Santa Clara Bronco Invitational

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Cross Country at Santa Clara Bronco Invitational

The Men’s Cross Country team posing for a photo before warming up for their race.

The Men’s Cross Country team posing for a photo before warming up for their race.

PHOTO BY DANIELLE DEPP/THE PIONEER

The Men’s Cross Country team posing for a photo before warming up for their race.

PHOTO BY DANIELLE DEPP/THE PIONEER

PHOTO BY DANIELLE DEPP/THE PIONEER

The Men’s Cross Country team posing for a photo before warming up for their race.

By Brett Fuchs, CONTRIBUTOR

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The California State East Bay Cross Country team ended their regular season with a stellar performance at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.

The teams headed out to Baylands Regional Park in Sunnyvale, Calif. on Oct. 13 in a field stacked with over 200 runners in both the mens and womens races.

East Bay women came out victorious, winning the event while beating out fellow CCAA foes Humboldt State and Chico State, who came in right behind them.

The Pioneers were coming off The Capital Cross Challenge hosted by Sacramento State. Both teams raced well; the women’s team finishing ninth overall and the men’s come in 19th in the biggest event of the year. Perhaps their momentum carried over into Santa Clara.

The team saw great performance across the board in the 6k event with Senior Cecilia Carretero leading the way.

Carretero came in second overall in a field of 240 runners with a time of 21 minutes and 33.6 seconds. Freshman Angelina Ronquillo also ran well, coming in right behind Carretero, finishing fourth with a time of 21:52.6.

Sophomore Claire Fisher and Junior Andrea Romero both notched personal best times during the race. Fisher finished ninth overall with a time of 22:00.9 while Romero came in 25th with a time of 22:39.5.

“We had a strong belief as a whole that we were the fittest and strongest out of all the teams,” said Ronquillo about the teams success. “Having that taste of what it is like to win and to see what we are truly capable of, we can use this motivation to finish off the year strong.”

The men’s team also showed well in the final event taking fifth overall. Freshman Xavier Smith paced the pioneers finishing 12th overall with a time of 25 minutes and 03.8 seconds setting the third fastest 8k time in program history.

Transfer Julian Johnson ran himself into the Pioneer record books as well with a program top 10 finish with a time of 25:19.5 coming in 18th place. East Bay also saw strong performances from senior Israel Sotelo who ran a personal best time of 25:33.3, which placed him 28th overall. Senior Esteban Leon followed right behind him with a 36th place finish and a time of 25:42.6.

“Trusting in the Program and working together is what ultimately got us to where we wanted to be,” said Smith. “As we head into conference we want to focus on recovery and getting the pack a little tighter and believing that we are capable of big things.”

Both teams have three weeks before they they head down south to San Bernardino on Nov. 3 for the CCAA Championships. The Pioneers look to use the momentum from this past weekend and look to perform well at the Championships.

Last season, the men’s team took fourth overall behind Cal State San Marcos while the women’s team took ninth overall behind Cal State San Bernardino.

“We are going to ride this wave of momentum for as long as we can.” said Sotelo.

“A Podium finish at the CCAA Championships as well as a bid to the National Championships is definitely on our minds.”

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Cross Country at Santa Clara Bronco Invitational