Glendale Men, Women Take Conference in Cross Country

roderick-daniels
el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">Roderick Daniels
El Vaquero Staff Writer

They are not widely known on campus, but for more than a decade they have been the most successful athletic teams on campus. They are the men’s and women’s cross country teams.

For the fifth year in a row, and 13 out of the last 15 years, the men’s team won the Western State Conference, and for the third year in a row, the women’s team won the WSC.

“For the men [to win conference] it means a lot because our first meet we were third,” said Coach Eddie Lopez. “They really knew what was at stake, and stepped it up at the conference meet.

“For the women, two years in a row, it was very tough because I ended up with some recruits that I did not think I was going to get. Two in a row is not bad, but this was three out of the last four years.”

The men’s team started off slow this season because it didn’t run over the summer, and was out of shape. Because of the new class schedule, Lopez had to make changes in his practice time over the summer.

“We didn’t start out that well because they didn’t do the work [over summer],” Lopez said. “We knew we had to peak for the conference meet, and they ran well. It was just a matter of putting the miles in for about two months.”

Before the new schedule, the team started practice a month earlier. At that time, Lopez and the team were meeting every day, and had double workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

“I wished we had one more month,” Lopez said. “Because of the new calendar, we were about a month behind in our preparations. Now I know that we have to do our intervals in August.”

Along with winning the conference, Henok Mulugeta and Ana Gjesdal, were fourth team All-Americans, and Lopez was named Western State Conference coach of the year.

“It comes down to the athletes,” Lopez said. “You could be the greatest coach in the world, but if you don’t have the athletes, then it doesn’t matter.