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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Cross Country kicks off in Tahoe

The women’s cross country team competes at the Stanford Invitational last year. Photo Courtesy of Gary Towne

Cross Country runners are hitting the trail as the new season begins

With a sixth place finish for the men and fourth place finish for the women at the NCAA Championship last year, the cross country teams have already begun to hit the trail in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

The teams have begun their training as a group a week prior to the beginning of school, lead by head coach Gary Towne. During the camp, they steel themselves for the upcoming season through training and building team unity.

Junior runner Kyle Medina took 34th place in the NCAA Championship last season and is confident that the team summer camp will boost camaraderie. Medina said that he believes the experience acquired through the training camp will lead him to better performances this season.

“This year we are focused on the big picture, we want to get back on the national stage and put our best efforts on display all at once,” Medina said.

Senior runner Aaron Mora who finished 69th at the NCAA Championship last season feels that team chemistry is a critical part in building and propelling the team to victory.

“Tahoe training is going great and is a big part of our team chemistry with inviting new people in and becoming one family,” Mora said.

Both Mora and Medina stated that they believe making everyone feel a part of the team is the secret to the ‘Cats success. Junior transfer student Daniel Harrigan had trouble acclimating to the program due to its rigor but was shocked by the teams harmony.

“This team has a very positive vibe and correlates with trying to work hard as well in running so I think that’ll be a nice thing to adjust to,” Harrigan said.

The men’s team suffered only one loss from last season, senior Brandon Taylor, a leader for the ‘Cats. Although the loss of Taylor takes away some experience for Chico State, the knowledge other runners have acquired through the off season and previous season is expected to fill in the vacancy.

While the men’s team had minimal losses, the women’s team face a slightly larger challenge with four seniors having graduated the team after last season. Quetta Peinado, Lora James, Katie Coleman, and Bekah Bahra leave large gaps to fill in the ‘Cats roster in both leadership and experience.

With the exception of Coleman, all of the leaving seniors for the women’s team have been active on the team for four years. To make up for the loss in leadership, the ‘Cats will rely on their former Juniors and Sophomores to step up and fill the roles.

The season will kick off for the men’s and women’s teams at the Humboldt State Invitational in Trinidad, California on Sept. 10.

Gabriel Moreno can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.

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