Cross country teams both clinch WAC title

Courtesy of the Western Athletic Conference

The California Baptist University cross country teams swept both the men’s and women’s individual Western Athletic Conference championship titles, along with both the men’s and women’s WAC team titles.

The CBU women’s cross country team won its third consecutive WAC title. The team has now won every WAC championship it has competed in. CBU’s junior marketing major Anna Mate also won the women’s individual title.

“Although our team is not the same as it was last year (at WAC the first five girls were from CBU), we are strong,” Mate said. “We built a strong base in the fall from which we benefit now. Our workouts during the quarantine contributed to our success at the championship to a great extent. We were all thankful that we had the opportunity to race, and we were well-prepared for the race, so we expected to win.”

Mate won her race by more than 12 seconds. She has been a dominant runner in the WAC in past seasons, but this year she excelled.

“I expected to win the individual title because I felt unbelievably strong during the last couple of months and did well at the meets in Utah, Florida, and Las Vegas,” Mate said. “I really wanted to win WAC after my poor performance my freshman year and my second-place last year.”

The men’s cross-country team won its first-ever WAC team title. Led by sophomore kinesiology major Giedrius Valincius, who won the individual men’s title, the CBU men dominated the competition.

“I was delighted to finish first and give my team the best possible score with my performance. Especially considering that I was going into the race with the object of finishing in the top three,” Valincius said. “The most memorable moment of the championships for me was probably seeing all of my teammates finishing and greeting each other afterward.”

Valincius also won his race by a considerable amount, finishing more than 10 seconds ahead of CBU junior kinesiology major Luis Chavez, who received second place.

“After I finished and realized that one of my teammates moved up to second place and one was fourth, I was happy,” said Valincius. “After everyone finished, it was amazing.”

Despite having its season postponed and rescheduled, both cross country teams were able to dominate their conference competitions.

“I was hoping to win, of course, but with this season and all the uncertainties you never know,” said Adam Tribble, head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country teams. “We were confident in our race plans and our ability to execute.”

The cross country teams are looking to build on their recent successes for track season.

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