For the third consecutive race, sophomore Savannah Silacci was the first Seawolf to finish the CCAA (California Collegiate Athletic Association) Cross Country Championships. Silacci finished in 69th place with a time of 24:42.6. Last year the CCAA All-Academic Team Member finished the race in Chico in79th place with a 25:9.5.
The next Seawolf to traverse the 6K run was senior Debra Daubenspeck. Daubenspeck finished the race in 79th place with a time of 25:19.6. This has become her fastest finish time for a 6K race since she galloped a 25:38 at the Sonoma State Invitational back in 2011. Freshman Maria Hurtido finished her first CCAA Championships in 83rd place with a time of 25:19.6.
In her last CCAA Championships, Veronica Kays finished in 86th place with a time of 25:35.5. Abby Utic, Brittany Smith, and Raelynn Dreft respectively finished in 90th, 91st, and 92nd place. Jessica Stip, Christina Robinson, and Marissa Yang rounded out the rest of the Seawolves with finishes 96th, 97th, and 100th to end out the day at Hooker Oak Park.
Sonoma State has been without their star runner Kelli Bercier for nearly a month now. It was reported last that she had been out with a cold, according to coach Sean Myer. Bercier was the top Seawolf runner in the first four races of the season. She has not competed at any of the events since the Coyote Invite in San Bernadino and has been missed.
Sonoma State as a whole finished the race in 11th place out of the 11 schools competing last Saturday. Their total time came out to be 2:07:08.20 with an average finish time of 25:25:64. This put them about one minute shy of last year’s average time which was 24:36.70, when they finished in ninth place.
The championships were hosted by the Chico State Wildcats who won their sixth consecutive CCAA Championship. A huge part of their victory came at the legs of CCAA Runner of the Year and All Conference Runner Ayla Granados, who finished first in the entire race with a 22:10.9. Right behind her was her own teammate and fellow All Conference Runner Sarah Mikesell. Last year the duo finished the CCAA Championships in third and fourth place where Granados received the CCAA Newcomer of the Year Award.
The Seawolves will be flying up to Spokane, Washington where they will be competing in the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships. To the say the very least, it will not be as tropical as last year’s Championships in Kahuku, Hawaii. Bercier was the top finisher among current SSU runners placing 96th out of 170 runners. Silacci and Yang both finished in 111th and 132nd place.
With a vast amount of experience competing with schools at the NCAA level last year, the girls from the Sonoma State Cross Country Team should have a well-rounded race.
If Bercier can recover from whatever ailment has been keeping her from competition, then this Seawolf team will have one more element to help them succeed.