California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Cross Country Teams Work Hard, Win Easy

Joel Becker, Chris Gallagher and Eric Rodriguez taking their first strides out of the starting gate.

In an attempt to veer the CSU East Bay cross country team into a successful direction, Coach Ralph Jones has implemented a four-word mantra into the minds of the Pioneers: “Work hard, win easy.”

A win is something the women’s cross country team became quite familiar with over the weekend at the Mills College Invitational on September 17 in their second meet of the season.

The lady Pioneers finished in first, posting their first team title in the young season and marking their first team victory since the program returned to Division II competition.

Sophomore Tiffany Duffy led the Pioneers placing third overall and first among the collegiate runners finishing with a time of 23:06 on the 6K course.

Duffy’s first place finish was the first for an East Bay runner since 2008.

Crossing the finish line right behind Duffy was junior Amanda McNabb coming in 5th among collegiate runners clocking in with a time of 24:47 followed by an 11th place showing by junior Megan McDaniel, a 13th place finish by senior Gabriella Cruz and securing the win for the Pioneers, Bernadette Lu and Nastasia Hamor placing 18th and 34th, respectively.

Although the win was a great feat for the team, Jones advised the team to enjoy the win for the weekend, but to get ready to get back to work on Monday.

“I’m pleased we were able to get a small victory, but definitely not satisfied as there are still a lot of areas we need to improve on,” said Jones.

“I was happy for the women, as they have been through a roller coaster ride of emotions with the transition of coaches, training, philosophy and culture,” continued Jones. “Mainly I am just impressed with the resiliency of the young women and their ability to persevere, but we have a lot of work to do yet.”

Amanda McNabb, Tiffany Duffy and Megan Macdaniels lead the pioneers to a first place finish.

On the men’s side, sophomore Chris Gallagher led the Pioneers, finishing eighth with a time of 28:16 over an 8k course. Erik Rodriguez followed him clocking in with a time of 29:47, to take 28th, while Scott Pallesen crossed the finish line in 30:13 to finish 33rd guiding the Pioneers to a seventh place finish among a field of more than ten teams.

Both the lady and men Pioneers had a little bit of extra motivation to succeed as a tailgate party was held before the meet where Director of Athletics Debby DeAngelis, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing & Promotion, Dawn Ellerbe, Athletic Business Manager Darrell Bailey and Pioneer Pete, among others, were all on hand giving the Pioneers an extra push during the race.

In just the second meet of the season, the Pioneers are showing a significant improvement from last year under the guidance of new head coach Ralph Jones and new assistant coach Ron Davis. They look to establish a success for the future of cross country.

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Cross Country Teams Work Hard, Win Easy