Runners compete in CCAA championships



Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

The California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference Cross Country Championships were held on Sunday at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Cal State East Bay first-year Head Coach Tony Nicolosi has only been on the job a few months, but after a couple impressive showings by runners in regular season invitationals, expectations were beginning to build for both Pioneer squads. Both teams will travel to Monmouth, Oregon on Nov. 7 for the NCAA Division II West Regionals.

Women’s Cross Country

Despite a great performance from senior Imani Heath, the Pioneers finished the day ninth overall, ahead of conference foes Cal State Los Angeles and Sonoma State. The CSUEB women finished the conference championships with a total time of 1:58:35.61 and an average time of 23:43.12 per runner.

However, it was Heath who led the way for the Pioneers as she finished the 6k race 41st out of 113 runners with a time of 22:35.9, which was over a minute faster than her team’s average.

“Imani is an extremely tough competitor,” Nicolosi said. “She has worked very hard, and easily had the best summer training of anyone we have on the team.”

It was another senior, Oddessy Tapia, who nabbed second place for the Pioneers with a time of 22:59.10 and placed her 57th overall.

Junior Kandace Compton and senior Kelsey Lamb rounded out the top four for CSUEB with times of 23:56.70 and 24:25.20, respectively. Former swimming standout and senior Alyssa Tenney finished in 100th place. The All-American swimmer finished the 6k in a time of 25:18.10. Senior Celina Vera finished 107th with a time of 26:06.6 and freshman Leslie Diaz rounded out the field in 113th place.

Chico State captured their fourth straight CCAA team championship and had three runners finish in the top 10 overall.

Wildcats junior McCall Habermehl took first place in the race and her fellow junior teammate Sadie Gastelum finished second, just four tenths of a second behind Habermehls time of 21:33.10.

Men’s Cross Country

It was two freshmen for the men’s squad that did the damage for CSUEB. Israel Sotelo and Cameron Olson led the way for the Pioneers and finished in 65th and 66th overall out of 82 runners.

CSUEB finished 8th out of eight teams with a total time of 2:19:43.61 and an average of 27:56.72.

Sophomore Zack Kanlong finished the 8k race in fourth place for CSUEB and 73rd overall with a time of 28:10.70. Kanlong was proud that his team’s average time fell from 29:32 last year to 27:56 this year.

“Our coaches have created an amazing foundation here in a short period of time,” Kanlong said. “They have brought seriousness and knowledge here in the last two months that has meant a lot.”

Junior Noah Siegel, freshman Jesus Leon and senior Orlando Ramirez rounded out the field for the Pioneers and finished 78th through 80th respectively.

Chico State continued their team dominance of the championships as the Wildcats nabbed their tenth straight conference championship. Chico State had the top two finishers in the 8k race and had five runners finish in the top ten.

The Wildcats finished with a total time of 2:03:24.50 and an average time of 24:40.90.

Wildcats junior William Reyes took home first place after he finished the 8k with a final time of 24:13.60 and his junior teammate Steven Martinez finished 16 seconds later to nab second place.