July 24, 2024

The men’s and women’s cross country teams at California Baptist University earned first place in an invitational at home on Sept. 1.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Riverside City Cross Country Course.

Dr. Ben Gall, head coach of cross country, has been training his runners for this invitational to go the distance and run together as a team.

“We enjoyed hosting a cross country invitational,” Gall said. “In all my six years working here, we’ve never hosted a meet before. This was one of the first things we’ve implemented when I started working here.”

Gall said the teams are happy about the overall results.

“We managed to get the wins on both sides,” Gall said. “UC San Diego is a very good team in particular and it felt very good to defeat them early in the season.”

Gall said he hopes the team will do even better this season compared to last season when both the men’s and women’s teams won first place in the PacWest Championship.

“We’re obviously always trying to move forward,” Gall said. “The goal is to defend our PacWest Title and earn seven in a row.”

Michael Lowrie, junior criminal justice major, said he felt his performance in the invitational was good.

“It was a good season opener,” Lowrie said. “It was uplifting knowing we can all run together in this event.”

Lowrie also said his team’s performance was great.

“We were all together throughout 5,000 meters,” Lowrie said. “Nobody is lacking in fitness right now, so it was really promising.”

Lowrie also said he hopes to get better as the season progresses.

“The goal for me would be top-10 at nationals this year,” Lowrie said. “I hope all of us can stay fit, the chemistry can stay good and we get better as a team.”

Emeline Delanis, junior business administration major, said she was surprised at her performance in the invitational.

“I didn’t expect to win this race because I started training later in this season, at the beginning of August,” Delanis said. “I didn’t think I would be in shape for the first race.”

Delanis also said she is  proud of her teammates.

“We worked together and we were stronger together,” Delanis said.

Delanis added that she hopes to maintain her focus on what she  can do to better her performance this season.

“I need to stay focused on my performance and not as much as my place and role on the team,” Delanis said. “I also hope everyone on my team gets stronger and keeps pushing and training.”

Cross country will keep training to defend their PacWest Division Championship and win another one.

The team will travel up the coast later this month to participate in the San Francisco State Invitational hosted by San Francisco State University Sept. 22.

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