DVC cross country climbing to contention

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Gabriel Agurcia, Staff writer

The DVC cross country team looks to be on the cusp of serious contention after a solid performance at the Fresno Invitational.

The men and women both had solid showings, getting off to what Coach Pierson considers the best start in her three years at DVC.

Pierson said all of her returning runners improved their times from the same invitational last year, but four had the most notable improvements: Eric Brooks, Anthony Carrillo, Carmen Martinez and Nasreen Broomand.

Brooks improved by 25 seconds, Martinez by a full minute, Carrillo by an amazing two minutes, and Broomand by an incredible three minutes.

The teams also improved their times and placements from last year. The women finished in 11th compared to 16th last year, missing the top ten by just one point. The men also finished in 11th, jumping up four spots from last year.

Pierson was very happy with her teams’ performances, both individually and overall. But she does see a couple areas for improvement. The men had a gap of just 48 seconds between their first and fifth runners, a substantially small time in terms of running. She wants to see them close it to 30 seconds or less. The women had a 1st to 5th gap of 3 minutes 59 seconds, one she’s looking to see decrease to two minutes or less. With more experience she sees her teams reaching her goal of consistent top ten finishes.

However, experience isn’t the only key to success. Pierson has a simple and effective plan to keep her runners in top competitive shape. As opposed to some other coaches, she doesn’t have her runners burn themselves out on the track. “I’m not a high mileage coach. I’m more about quality than quantity,” she said.

Instead of worrying about the length or amount of time one can run for she focuses on speed and turnover.

Pierson also emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated, taking vitamins, getting enough nutrients, sleeping and taking care of your body in general, in terms of healing and injury prevention.

She’s also excited about the cohesiveness of the team. “Cross country is like a family. With track, everyone’s doing something different. But with cross country we’re all running together.” She says that camaraderie will be a big boost for the team.

As for her expectations, Pierson believes they can compete for the conference title and the North Coast Section title. She stated that DVC has improved leaps and bounds over the past few years, turning themselves into annual contenders. “Now other teams are really looking at us as a force to be reckoned with.”

DVC’s first home meet will be at 10 a.m. this Friday, Sep. 14, at Hidden Lakes Park in Martinez.