November 12, 2008 > Cal State East Bay cross country wins Cal Pac
Cal State East Bay cross country wins Cal Pac
Next up: Nationals
By Idorenyin Uto-Uko
Cal State East Bay, women and men, are the reigning Cal Pac Champions; both teams won the 2007 Cal Pac Cross Country Championship. And last weekend, CSEB made school history by placing six runners in the top 11 spots at the Cal Pac Conference Meet.
"This is by far the best team that I ever had at CSEB in my nine years," said Head Coach Greg Ryan.
The women won the conference championship for the third time in as many years, led by freshman Kelly Guerrero, who has had a phenomenal year. Guerrero has placed in the top 10 in nearly ever meet she has competed in this season. "It is an excellent way for her end the year with the Cal Pac title," said Ryan.
The men's team narrowly missed a repeat championship this year, losing 49-50 to William and Jessup University on Crystal Springs Course in Belmont. John Erlandson, one of CSEB top runners, collapsed in the final 400 meters of the race.
"John was sick most of the week," said Ryan. "We didn't know how sick he was before he began to warm-up and start the race."
Ryan is not using Erlandson's sickness as an excuse for his team's slim defeat. He is very confident that they could have beat WJU if they had better execution throughout the race.
"We know that we could have beat WJU today," said Ryan. "There are places throughout the course that we could have made key moves and we didn't."
However, the men's second-place finish did not diminish their valiant efforts. Two CSEB runners - juniors Elliot Nicholson and Andrew Welch - received All-Conference honors.
The women's team will send all seven runners to Nationals; the men will only send Nicholson. Coach Ryan knows that Nationals will be a tough contest, but is positive his team will give their all.
"It is tough to gauge how we are going to do at Nationals," said Coach Ryan. "The course is always tough. We are just going to go out their and try our best."