BERKELEY – The 2013 California men’s and women’s cross country season offers much promise for the Golden Bears. While each squad is young, both groups look to compete into late November and earn a coveted spot in the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 23.
The men open with the more experienced squad, despite more than half the competitors on the roster in their first or second year of eligibility. Headlining the group of returnees is standout Collin Jarvis. The senior, who redshirted last fall, is expected to be a major contributor to Cal’s lineup this season. Jarvis placed 11th in the Pac-12 Championships to earn second-team all-conference honors and finished 12th in the NCAA Regionals in 2011.
Additional returnees Chris Walden, Jordan Locklear, Leland Later, J.P. Slater and Matt Carpowich have each seen considerable experience in the lineup and will look to build on their performances from last fall. In all, nine Bears who competed last season return in 2013, including four competitors who were in the lineup for last fall’s 2013 NCAA West Regionals.
With the absence of a senior on the squad and 13 of the 19 members on the overall 2013 roster in either her freshman or sophomore year of eligibility, the women will have a very young lineup this fall.
Anchoring the group, however, will be junior standout Kelsey Santisteban, who looks to reach the NCAA Championships for the third time this fall after placing 70th at last year’s national meet. A consistent leader for Cal last fall, Santisteban placed in the top-10 in all five of the meets she competed in leading up to the NCAA Championships, including an eighth-place performance in the NCAA West Regionals. The junior looks to become the Golden Bears’ 11th All-American in cross country since 1981.
After the departure of a strong senior group in 2011, the freshman class played a prominent role last fall and the group hopes to recover from some injuries in the fall and spring to help Cal return the NCAA Championships as team this season. In all, nine Bears who saw action last season return in 2013. The group hopes to welcome Heather Cerney, who missed last fall, and Xochiti Navarette, who was limited last fall, back from injury during the season.
Head coach Tony Sandoval begins his 32nd season as head coach of the Golden Bears. He elevated Shayla Houlihan to assistant head coach and welcomed volunteer assistant coach Chas Davis to his staff for 2013.
The season opens on Saturday, Aug. 31 at the USF Invitational in Golden Gate Park as the Bears begin their quest for the NCAA Championships. A trip to Virginia will provide an early-season test as a select group will compete in Charlottesville against some of the nation’s best runners on Sept. 28. The Pac-12 Championships will be in Louisville, Colo. on Nov. 2, with the NCAA West Regionals will be held in Sacramento, Calif. on Nov. 15. Cal will travel to Terre Haute on Oct. 7 in an important pre-nationals meet as the Bears eye a return to Hoosier state in late November and compete as a team in the NCAA Championships.