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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Cross Country teams finish first

Sadie Gastelum leads the Wildcat cross country practice. Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

The Chico State men’s and women’s cross country team’s set out to test its mettle Nov. 5 at the NCAA West Regional Championship but struggled to find its competition.

Men’s Cross Country

The team snagged a first place finish with 45 points, easily outpacing second place Alaska Anchorage who ended with 81.

Senior runner Will Reyes led the team and competition across the finish line to become only the fourth Wildcat to earn the West Regional Champion title. Reyes has placed first in four of the five races he’s competed in this season and seven during his career at Chico State.

Along with Reyes, juniors Kyle Medina and Falco DiGiallonardo finished within the top three. Medina finished second and was 20 seconds behind Reyes, while DiGiallonardo ended in third, less than a second behind Medina.

Although the Wildcats ended their race in triumph, there was a calamity on the course, as sophomore Arturo Arevalo and junior Connor Fisher became ill. Arevalo finished 53rd despite feeling sick, but Fisher was unable to complete the course.

Women’s Cross Country

The team finished first with 70 points, beating second place Simon Frasier by 33 points.

Senior Sadie Gastelum led the charge for the Wildcats with a fifth place finish becoming the only Wildcat to finish in the top five at two different Regional Championships. Gastelum is only the sixth Wildcat to win three All-West Region awards.

Junior Karlie Garcia finished with Gastelum to snag sixth and was the only other Wildcat to crack the top 10. The style of racing together assisted in propelling Garcia across the finish line with Gastelum to earn the Wildcats a better chance of winning.

The only Wildcat that ran alone was junior Alex Burkhart who finished 16th with a time of 21:52.52.

With successful NCAA West Regional Tournament finishes, the team has only one tournament remaining on their schedule. The Cross Country teams will compete in the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19 in Florida.

Gabriel Moreno can be reached at [email protected] or @GabeSports3 on Twitter.

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