Cross Country: Cal Climbs to Top at Season Opener





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Out of the cellar they come.

After finishing last in the Pac-10 Championships last season, Cal's cross country teams began this season with a win over San Jose State in the Berkeley Invitational Saturday.

This was the first Cal home meet in 15 years, and the Bears made sure to take advantage of their home course.

The women's team defeated San Jose State 18-41, while the men beat the Spartans 19-43.

On the women's side, the Bears got out to a quick start, pulling into the lead in the first mile.

"We wanted the top five to pack the first mile because that is the uphill part," sophomore Lindsey Maclise said. "We did that and it was exciting because we worked together as a team and fed off each other. That was the goal of the race, and we succeeded."

The women's team, which is led by a group of freshmen and sophomores, was pleased with its performance after taking the top three spots.

Bridget Duffy came in first (16:33), Maclise in second (16:40), and Maja Ruznic in third (16:46), closely followed by Sophia Marquez in fifth and Abby Parker in seventh.

While the meet was a low-key event to open the season, the Bears used the opportunity to practice working together.

"We strategized together, and mentally we told ourselves to stay together as a pack," Marquez said.

The men's team was also victorious in their season opener. Martin Conrad finished first, Carlos Carballo second, and Kevin Davis fourth.

"We went out conservatively with the hills in the first mile, then went hard on the flat part that was the next two miles," senior John Burke said.

Cal runners were pleased with their performance in the first meet of the year, accomplishing the goals they had set for themselves.

"The first hills were hard, toward the end it felt good and relaxed," Carballo said. "We were more focused on how the whole team did."

The Bears hope that Saturday's successful race will bode well for the rest of the season.

"It was good knowing that Martin, who came in first, and all the other team leaders and upperclassmen are in good shape." Carballo said. "It makes us confident that we are ready for the rest of the season."

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