Warriors' runner 1st in CCAA

TURLOCK -- Vicente Moreno of host Cal State Stanislaus won the men's race at the CCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, pulling away with just over a mile to go.

The senior won in 24 minutes, 48.30 seconds on the 8-kilometer (4.96-mile) campus course, with team champion Chico sweeping places 2 through 7.

"He was on a mission," Stanislaus coach Kim Duyst said. "That was one of his goals. He was going to run with Chico."

Chico won its sixth straight league title with 20 points to 67 for runner-up Stanislaus. Chico was led by Michael Wickman, who finished far behind Moreno in 25:07.80.

Moreno, a senior, was tabbed California Collegiate Athletic Association Runner of the Year and Duyst the Coach of the Year.

Moreno and Chico's Tim Tollefson separated themselves from the pack with about two miles to go, then Moreno broke away from Tollefson just before the 4-mile mark. Moreno made a push up one of the course's only hills and sped down the backside.

"When I saw him again around back," said Duyst, "I couldn't believe there was such a big gap. He did an outstanding job."

Spectators cheered him on and told him he had a big lead.

"I had an idea that I was on my own," Moreno said, "but I knew we started off really slow. I kept telling myself, 'Those guys are going to catch up.' "

His side was hurting; he was having breathing problems. Still, he persevered.

"It feels weird," he said. "I'd never won an actual event (though he was the top collegiate finisher at San Francisco's Gator Invitational). ... Right before the finish line I realized I won and raised my hand."

Duyst expects Stanislaus to rise from No. 8 in the Far West Region after its best CCAA finish ever. Bobby Olivera (10th, 25:32.70), Jose Morales (12th, 25:39.60), Martin Ramos (17th, 25:55.10) and soph Shane Brookshire (31st, 26:32.30) rounded out the top five for Stanislaus as a good crowd looked on. The top 15 finishers earned all-CCAA honors.

Olivera was getting over the flu.

STANISLAUS WOMEN, at CCAA Championships -- Senior Erin Frier (10th, 21:39) and freshman Cherise McNair (11th, 21:43) led Stanislaus to a fifth-place finish on the 6-kilometer (3.72-mile) campus course.

Karla Alburez won in 20:55.40 and helped Cal State Los Angeles to the team title.

"Erin and Cherise ran very well," Warrior head coach Kim Duyst said. "We wanted to be in the top five. I was pleased."

BEYER'S ESPARZA 1ST, at Mt. SAC Invitational (Walnut) -- Beyer's Crystal Esparza won the prestigious race in 18:07 (3 miles) as Beyer took eighth out of 29 schools in its division at Mt. San Antonio College. Beyer's Samantha Reardon was 14th in 19:13.


MODESTO JC, at NorCal Dual Team Championships (Santa Rosa) -- The Pirates were 2-2, beating Shasta and Sac City and losing to Sierra and Fresno. MJC's Ryan Sughrue (184) and Victor Carazo (174) were 4-0. Sughrue's four pins give him 16 for the year -- he and Carazo are 18-0. They'll represent the North at the Junior College Wrestler all-star meet Saturday in San Luis Obispo.

MJC was third out of nine teams, behind Sierra and Fresno -- coach Gary Fischer said that's Modesto's best finish in at least 10 years. Sierra will meet the South winner.


CS LOS ANGELES 3, CS STANISLAUS 1, at Los Angeles -- For the first time in eight matches, the Warriors (5-19, 1-12 CCAA) won a game, but still fell 30-28, 30-13, 28-30, 30-23 to the No. 23 Golden Eagles (13-7, 9-4).

Debbie Vander Schaaf led the Warriors with eight kills and Caitlin Steffeck, who set a new school record in career blocks Friday, had five total blocks -- she has 297 now.