For the second year in a row, California Baptist University’s women’s cross-country team took first place in the Western Athletic Conference Championship while the men’s team finished second on Nov. 2 at the 2019 WAC Championships at Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo.
CBU’s women’s cross-country team had an excellent season leading into the championship meet, only losing the first meet of the season to California State University ,Fullerton. However, the men’s cross-country team was seeking a first-place victory head- ing into WAC this season.
“From next year on we should be doing a lot better because we are still in the learning phase because we are a really young squad,” said McMarshal Hartzenberg, junior kinesiology major, going into the race.
Unfortunately for the Lancers, Utah Valley University edged out CBU for the title, but not without a fight. Utah Valley totaled a team score of 44 to the Lancers team score of 47.
The CBU men had four runners in the top seven at the meet: Hartzenberg, Zlatko Ko- zuhar, Manuel Peris and Gie- drius Valincius.
Coach Adam Tribble acknowledged the progress the men’s team has made and finds hope in the development of the young team.
“It’s a great omen for the future because we have a great base here to not just be able to do something now but to have great teams for times to come,” Tribble said.
The now nationally-ranked women’s cross-country team continued to show results at WAC Championships by sweeping the top-five spots to claim the title.
Anett Somogyi won the individual WAC title for the second straight year, finishing in 21 minutes, 18 seconds with team members Anna Mate, Andrea Kolbeinsdottir, Fruzsina Ladanyi and Emilie Renaud behind her.
“This is my second year at CBU, but compared to last year, I truly believe that this team is more ready to compete,” said Emilie Renaud, sophomore exercise science major. “We are smarter at practice and work well together and we prepare for meets.”
“We arrive and are prepared for what we want to do and in the end we see that we have some results so if during this championship we repeat what we have done the other season there will not be a problem to perform.”
The Lancers earned their sixth consecutive conference title and became the first team in WAC history to hold the top- five spots in either the men’s or women’s competitive play.
Some of the runners will be taking breaks over the holidays to get ready for track season while some runners from Europe will compete in a selection of races.