Chico State’s Women’s Cross Country team proves worthiness at Bronco’s Invitational


Runners Iresh Molina, Hannah Wirth, Jennifer Ruiz, Della Molina and Hannah Ryan ready for practice before Pre-Nationals. Photo by Julia Travers taken Oct. 19, 2022.

Chico State’s Women’s Cross Country team showed up and delivered this past weekend on a winding race course on Oct. 15 in Sunnyvale, for the Santa Clara Bronco’s Invitational

Saturday saw exceptional competition for the Wildcats, competing against Division I schools and ending the event in the top 10. Overall, they placed seventh in the invitational and placed second in the open race at Baylands Regional Park. University of San Francisco placed first at invitationals.  

Due to rules and regulations, only a certain number of racers were allowed to compete in the Division II main race, meaning some runners participated in the open race instead. 

Their biggest competitor was Stanislaus State, who came in right behind them in eighth place. This ranked Chico as the first to finish amongst Division II schools at the Broncos Invitational, No. 2 in the state and No. 13 in the nation according to the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. 

First across the finish line for Chico state was freshman Della Molina, who placed 34th overall with the time of 20:58:1. Her twin sister, Iresh Molina, followed close behind her, placing 35th with a time of 20:58:2. Seconds later, teammate Marissa D’Atri placed 37th with a time of 21:00:4. 

At first glance the team was not immediately impressed with their placement in the race. That all changed when they considered the level at which they were up against. 

“We looked at who we were competing against, these like crazy good teams, so we were actually like ‘wow, we killed it,’” Iresh Molina said. “I think that everyone rose and did amazing, and some people really popped off.” 

Chico State claimed another proud podium finish in the open race, coming in second. They followed close behind Salt Lake Community College, who had an overall time of 1:50:57, whereas Chico finished with 1:51:56. 

Avery Lambrite placed 11th in the open race with a time of 21:58:1, Jacqueline Cascione placed 20th with a time of 22:16:5 and Jennifer Ruiz placed 24th with a time of 22:23:5. 

The team was able to walk away not only extremely proud of their placing at the invitational, but for their placing in the open race as well. 

“Considering that we were going up against a lot of big teams as well, and to just get second is like such a big investment,” Ruiz said. “I think I really improved in my last competition because I feel like a lot of us weren’t really feeling our best, but this last race everyone was running really fast times.”

Freshman Gracie Dupuis, who redshirted her first year, placed 77th at the invitational. She explained the trials and tribulations of cross country and how the team comes together to run as a whole. 

“I think what a lot of people don’t think about is that cross country isn’t a super individual sport, even though you’re in control of your own race, you’re really running for your teammates,” Dupuis said. “And so our goal is to race well as a team and we will hopefully win the West Region and place well at the national level.”

The team runs to their next race in University Place, Washington at Chambers Creek Regional Park where they will compete against some of the top ranking schools in the nation, for NCAA D-II Pre-Nationals on Saturday Oct. 22. 


Sourced from Chico State Athletics

College Invitational race — Team Results

  1. University of San Francisco – 74

  2. UC Davis – 110

  3. Santa Clara – 135

  4. Cal Poly – 149

  5. Grand Canyon University – 153

  6. UC Irvine – 202

  7. Chico State – 213

  8. Stanislaus State – 238

  9. Long Beach State – 248

10. Stanford – 288

11. University of Nevada – 307

12. UC San Diego – 314

13. California – 360

14. Idaho State – 380

15. Saint Mary’s – 381

16. Hawaii – 416

17. Utah Tech – 440

18. Fresno Pacific – 493

19. Sacramento State – 513

20. Loyola Marymount – 533

21. Nevada-Las Vegas – 604

22. Fresno State – 623

23. Cal State Monterey Bay – 624

24. Cal State Northridge – 682

25. Pepperdine – 709

26. USC – 762

27. Cal State Bakersfield – 830

28. San Jose State – 833

Top 10 placements and Chico State’s athletes

  1. Ruby Smee (USF) – 19:36.2

  2. Brianna Weidler (UC Davis) – 19:40.7

  3. Allie Scimia (Long Beach State) – 19:45.3

  4. Natalia Ruiz Lara (UNLV) – 19:49.0

  5. Anna Vogtmann (UC Irvine) – 19:54.7

  6. Kaela Dishion (Stanislaus State) – 20:00.1

  7. Rylee Fick (Long Beach State) – 20:02.1

  8. Rayna Stanziano (Saint Mary’s) – 20:06.3

  9. Grace Copeland (USF) – 20:14.1

10. Sierra Atkins (UC Davis) – 20:15.2

34. Della Molina – 20:58.1

35. Iresh Molina – 20:58.2

37. Marissa D’Atri – 21:00.4

51. Hannah Tiffany – 21:15.9

58. Hannah Ryan – 21:20.1

63. Jaclyn Denham – 21:22.7

77. Gracie Dupuis – 21:37.3

Julia Travers can be reached at [email protected]