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Back In Camp: Cross Country

Aug 19, 2022
Cal cross country returns to campus for fall training.

BERKELEY – The California men's and women's cross country teams returned to the Berkeley campus for training on Friday morning with their sights set on the upcoming start of the season.

In addition to its early morning trainings at Edwards Stadium, the team is taking advantage of the beautiful Bay Area weather and its unique environmental features as a backdrop for its practice strides.  

"The Berkeley area is great for cross country training because of the close proximity to so many different surfaces," junior Garrett MacQuiddy said. "From down by the water at the Marina, to up on the fire trails and everywhere in between, there are hills and flats; everything we need for a week of training is just a short drive away."

Cal cross country trains along the water
in the Berkeley Marina.

"I love training in Berkeley because we have some of the most beautiful trails through the hills and along the Bay," junior Claire Yerby said. "It's so much more fun to get your miles in when you can look over your shoulder and see the Golden Gate Bridge or run through a redwood forest."

The distance team is preparing for a five-meet campaign in 2022 which begins in its own back yard in just two weeks. The Bears will toe the line for the first time this fall at the USF Invite at Golden Gate Park, looking to build upon last year's performance at the meet where the men took home second place and there were three individual top-10 finishes.

The team takes its morning strides
with a view.

The Bears' roster will see a mix of returners and fresh talent donning the Blue & Gold singlet this season.

On the men's side, five incoming student-athletes will be added to the ranks, including two with close ties to Cal in Dylan Bissell, who joins his older brother Shane on the current roster, and Rowan FitzGerald, who is the younger brother of recent cross country graduate and consistent top-finisher for Cal, Colin FitzGerald.

Reigning California state cross country champion Caden Carney also joins the team this season, alongside Chris Waligorski and Iyan Godwin, who is the reigning 800-meter and 4x400-meter CCCAA state champion.

Among the returners for the men's squad is MacQuiddy, who concluded the 2021 season with two personal-best finishes in the 8,000-meter race at the Pre-Nationals Invite hosted by FSU (24:41.6) and the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA West Regionals (31:18.4). He paced the Bears as the top men's finisher in the final three competitions of the 2021 season.

"I'm really excited about this upcoming season because we have a great group of freshmen coming in and they will fit in well with our experienced upperclassmen," MacQuiddy said. "Everyone has been putting in the miles throughout the summer, and we're looking forward to those miles paying off on the course this season."

On the women's side, the roster will feature an even split between newcomers and returners in 2022. 

Freshmen Sydney Morrow, Ellie Black,
Emilie Barrett,and Carolina Dawson after
their first practice at Edwards Stadium.

Joining the Bears after a four-year stint at Cornell is Lucy Hurt. In the most recent season, Hurt was named captain of the women's Big Red squad and she captured her personal record in the 6,000-meter race at the Lehigh Paul Short Run with a time of 22:01.3. 

Also making their debuts for California this fall are Emilie Barrett, Carolina Dawson, Sydney Morrow, Ellie Black and Georgia McCorkle, who took third place at the California cross country state championships. 

Yerby competed in all five meets in 2021, logging a personal best at the Sac State Invite when she ran the 6,000-meter race in 22:33.6. 

"We have a young group this year so I'm excited to have all of our freshmen contribute to the team culture," Yerby said. "I'm personally excited for this year because I feel like I saw what collegiate cross country was like last year and I'm ready to pick up where I left off with a little more wisdom – and hopefully we can all put it together and make something happen."

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