The Sonoma State women’s cross country team came away with a third-place finish overall at its annual 6K run Saturday at Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa.
Overall, the event featured 60 runners from a total of eight schools.
The race began sharply at 9 a.m. and just over 23 minutes later, junior Maria Hurtado (23:37) crossed the finish line in 10th place, the fastest time of all Seawolf runners.
Junior Savannah Silacci (24:59.65) and senior Tori Dwyer (25:04.93) finished the race within just one minute of each other. The two runners finished in 18th and 20th place respectively.
Not far behind was 26th place finisher sophomore Breanne Brett (25:46.18), junior Kelsey Lopez (26:12.32) in 29th, junior Brittany Smith (26:14.98) in 30th, sophomore Christina Robinson (27:14.86) in 38th, freshman Michelle Padgett (27:46.70) in 39th and freshman Sierra Downum (27:55.73) in 40th.
“Since it’s our home course, we use that to our advantage,” said Hurtado. “The way we prepared this year was by doing hard workouts on the course so that we knew what to expect throughout the whole race. That way, there were no surprises.”
It seemed as though their preparation and familiarity with the course paid off. The Seawolves (85) placed third out of the eight teams in attendance; an improvement from their previous race where they placed fifth out of six at the Humboldt State Invitational in Trinidad on Sept. 13.
As for this past weekend, the only schools to place before the Seawolves were Fresno Pacific (20) and Humboldt State (50). The schools that placed behind Sonoma were Dominican (107), Holy Names (123), William Jessup (140), Mills (187) and California Maritime (212).
The women’s cross country team has started their season off strong, which Hurtado believes is the result of great team chemistry and striding towards a common goal.
“This is the year that I have seen the team become closer,” said Hurtado. “That’s our biggest strength: we are all running for each other.”
Coming off a strong weekend, the team is going into their third race of the season on Friday, Oct. 10 where they are competing at the San Francisco State Invitational at Golden Gate Park’s Speedway Meadow in San Francisco.
The Seawolves are preparing differently for the race this weekend. The course in San Francisco is mainly grass, which differs from the course in Santa Rosa, which consists of many dirt hills. Therefore, the team is practicing running on grass and other surfaces to mimic what they will face on Friday.
The Seawolves have two more regular season meets left. The first meet is in San Francisco and the other in Santa Clara, where they will compete at the Santa Clara Invitational on Oct. 18.
The CCAA Championships are on Nov. 9 in San Bernardino, which is hosted by Cal State San Bernardino.