Cross country hopes that experience can lead to success

Esteban Ramirez


Despite CSU Bakersfield cross country coach Marcia Mansur-Wentworth not having much luck bringing in any new runners for 2015, she is still excited about the returners and the unity of this year’s team.
“We didn’t have the signing year I had hoped, but the people we are bringing back are really focused, very dedicated and we have really good team chemistry this year,” she said. “We’re looking to improve and build on it.”
Mansur-Wentworth also added that they don’t have a senior in their lineup but she sees it as a good thing.
“I think sometimes it’s good to have a young group that can come in and work together and set their own traditions,” she said.

CSUB started its season with the Pepperdine Invitational on Sept. 1 and the Fresno State Bulldog Invitational. The Roadrunners’ next meet will be the Mustang Challenge on Sept. 19 in Santa Clarita, Calif. at 8 a.m.
The key returners for the Roadrunners are junior LaShya Morgan, who has been their number one runner since her freshman year; sophomore Angel Valdez, who is 15th all-time in the 3000m for track and field at CSUB; junior Ariana Mariscal, who is a three-time All-WAC conference for track and field and junior Tori Blackmon.
Mansur-Wentworth said because the team is small, she just wants to see all of them improve this year.

Morgan said she is excited for this year’s team and feels the team will do well to start the season.
“We got a solid top five, so I feel we are going to do really good this year,” Morgan said. “I think [not having any new runners] just makes us closer, and we know what we have. We know what our weaknesses are because we don’t have anybody new so that means we know what we did last year and what we can improve on.”
She added that her goals for this year’s team is to go into the Western Athletic Conference and finish in the top three as well for herself to finish in the top ten in conference.
She said that the strength of this year’s team is the dynamics of the team.
“They are very supportive of each other, they are really on board with helping each other and in the past we have not been,” she said.
She added that an area of emphasis this year has been converting over all the hard work they put in at practice to the meets.
“We put in hard work racing, but we just haven’t been able to convert it from training to competition,” she said. “That’s the frustrating part as a coach because they put in the work. They have done the hard stuff, and the race should be the reward.”

Mansur-Wentworth said she just wants to see the team race with some confidence today.
“I want to see them take challenges,” she said. “I would rather them fall flat on their face than not take a risk. I never fault anyone for taking a challenge and falling short.”