Men and Women’s Cross Country “Preview”
After three events this year, the cross-country season is off and running. In their most recent meet last Friday, the men finished 13th out of 18 teams, while the women came in 10th out of 20 teams.
Eric Barron, coach of both mens and womens squads, was pleased with the team results despite missing the top two runners for the women and the number two and five runners for the men.
Barron believed that if those runners were present, the women would have finished at least a place higher, and the men would have finished in the top ten.
Coach Barron already sees improvement from both teams, even from the first to second meet.
“More of our runners competed in the second meet, which helped the teams’ performance when compared to our first meet. We had more teammates to push each other through the entire race,” said Barron.
Last year, the women’s cross country team qualified for the state championships, where MacKenzie Lee and Sanna Malinen were the top two runners. Barron said, “Although we don’t have the same depth as last year, we are aiming to do the same thing this season.”
Women’s Assistant Coach, Marissa Tiamfook added, “We are very cohesive as a team.”
The men’s team did not qualify for the Southern California Championship and finished 11th in the conference. “For the men’s team, this is as good of a team as we have had in several years,” said Barron. “Our goal is to qualify for championships as an entire team.”
Barron mentioned how this year’s team has a little more experience and hopes that this will translate when it comes to competition. “Our second year athletes are in better shape and are very helpful for the first year runners,” said Barron.
Nick Alvarez, Chris Butler, Kenneth Pocasangre, Stephen Loredo, and Jason Derk are some men’s runners Barron mentioned to watch this season. For the women’s team: Jamillet Maldonado, MacKenzie Lee, Karin Kjellenberg, and Chanell Mosbe are leading the pack.
Upcoming key conference meets include the Western State Conference preview meet, Oct. 7 in Santa Barbara.
The WSC Championship meet is Oct. 25 in San Luis Obispo.
“It is very important we make a point to race since it is where the finals will be held,” said Barron.