Sunnyvale, Calif. – For the third time in as many starts this season, senior Huruy Zeratsion was the first Spartan to cross the line, leading the San José State men’s cross country team to an 11th place finish in the Bronco Invitational on Saturday morning.
“We have to find a fifth guy to step up and help us score,” head coach Brad Wick said. “In workouts we have six who are consistently strong, but we haven’t been able to take that to the competitions.
The race, which started one hour earlier than originally scheduled due to concerns about air quality in the Bay Area as a result of the fires in Northern California, was contested at the always-fast course at Baylands Regional Park.
“Everyone was concerned about the air quality for today’s race and several teams decided not to come,” Wick said. “But to be honest it was a non-factor, the skies are clear and there is really no trace of the smoke we’ve seen for the past couple of days.”
Zeratsion, who has raced in three of the team’s four events this season, recorded a 24:26.6 and came across the line in 27th place.
“Huruy had another solid race, as he has had all year and Josue (Gonzales), who was under the weather the last time we competed, closed the gap to Huruy.”
Gonzalez, the only other SJSU runner to finish in less than 25 minutes, was 57th in 24:53.5.
Mario Perez was 71st and Charlie Pope 88th, finishing in times of 25:03.6 and 25:18.2, respectively.
“Mario was solid as was Charlie, despite fighting a bit of a cold,” added Wick.
Javier Ubaldo was the last San José State runner to score, stopping the clock at 25:50.1 in 114th place. Collin De Julio was two-tenths of a second behind Ubaldo in 115th in a time of 25:50.3 and Nicholas Liebman finished 143rd in 26:40.1.
“Javier and Collin were together at the end and we need one or both of them to step up in order to improve our scoring,” Wick said.
Portland won the team competition with 65 points, narrowly defeating UCLA, which scored 68 points. Utah Valley’s Tyson Lambert was the race winner in 23:39.7.
San José State’s next action is on October 27 in Albuquerque, N.M., when it races in the Mountain West Championships.
October 14, 2017
Balyand Regional Park (Sunnyvale, Calif.)
1. Portland (65 pts)
2. UCLA (68 pts)
3. Utah Valley (91 pts)
4. Santa Clara (127 pts)
5. Lamar (154 pts)
11. San José State (287 pts)
1. Tyson Lambert (Utah Valley) 23:39.7
2. Anthony Ocegueda (Utah Valley) 23:41.5
3. John carter Blunt (UCLA) 23:44.5
4. Riley Olsen (Portland) 23:44.9
5. Tristan Peloquin (Portland) 23:47.4