June 16, 2024

Runner makes history with individual PacWest victory

Anett Somogyi, freshman nutrition and food sciences major, made history by becoming the first women’s cross country runner at California Baptist University to win the individual PacWest title. Because of her performance, she became the first student-athlete in the conference to win both PacWest Runner and Freshman of the Year in the same season.

Hailing from Veszprém, Hungary, she helped lead the Lancers to their third-straight, fourth-overall conference championship with a program-best of 23 team points. Somogyi finished the 6K with a time of 23:08.31, becoming the first true freshman ever to win the race.

Ben Gall, head coach, said he was more than satisfied with Somogyi’s performance.

“Anett is a very competitive and meticulous person who also has a lot of physical talent,” Gall said of the runner. “She is a serious athlete who attends to all the small details inside and outside of practice that help her to achieve at a high level. Obviously, her winning the conference title was absolutely amazing.”

Somogyi’s strong athletic performances are just a part of what the nutrition and food sciences major means for her team. Gall said she strives to be the best she can be.

“Anett has been a huge asset to our team environment,” Gall said. “She is a confident and driven young woman. She is also positive and encouraging toward those around her.

“Even before she came to CBU, she was reaching out to her teammates and helping them elevate their goals and mindset when it came to what they and the team could achieve. She is team-oriented and desires to make those around
her better.”

Somogyi said her athletic achievements are a result of her driven and team-orientated “winner’s mentality.” Somogyi said her goals keep her focused.

“I have a strong mentality that motivates others,” Somogyi said. “I really want to give my all to the team and consequently achieve the best possible place in the nationals. Hopefully my dominance will help the team to constantly improve. These women are amazing. I love putting in work with them.”

Somogyi, who in her free time enjoys hiking, watching movies and playing card games and chess with her friends, said she possesses a lot of passion for cross country, and her goals are set as high as can be.

Her ultimate goal is to eventually compete in the Olympic Games — representing her home country of Hungary — and she is willing to put in as much work as it takes in order to get there.

“I started my running career six years ago in Ajka, Hungary, and immediately fell in love with the sport,” Somogyi said. “I remember the first time I won a cross-country championship and the almost unexplainable feeling of endless happiness I felt after the victory. There are many sacrifices that we have to make in order to compete on this level, but it’s totally worth it.”

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