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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

The ‘Cats are ready to excel this season

The Wildcat cross country teams are ready to start the season strong. Photo courtesy of Gary Towne

With pretty high standards in mind, Coach Towne and the Wildcats’ plan to go big, or go home. Last season, the Wildcats’, both men and women, won California Collegiate Athletic Association titles in 2016.

The men’s cross-country team has carried the CCAA title back-to-back-to-back since 2003, the most recent one being in 2016.

As well as the women holding the title back-to-back, since 2008. Also, the men and women teams have been West Regional Title holders since 2012. With previous successful seasons in retrospect, the Wildcats’ plan for, yet a big season.

“We want to try to win the conference title for the men and women, and secure last spot the NCAA championship,” said Head Coach Towne, when asked about his goals for the 2017 season.

Even though the Wildcats compete within the NCAA Division II, that does not hinder them from competing against division one schools. “We beat a lot of DI’S including Arizona State, UC Davis, Loyola Marymount, and others.”

For the 2017 season, top returners are Kyle Medina, who is 11th in the nation and top 10 in the conference, and Connor Fisher who is 2nd overall in the conference.

When asked about future obstacles that may occur during the season, Towne responded, “In our sport, you have to train really hard; [so our] biggest obstacle would be getting and keeping people healthy.”

The Wildcats’ have their first meet Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at the UC Riverside Invitational in Riverside, California.

Terren Pouncy can be reached at [email protected] or @PatPaceSports on Twitter.

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