Santa Clarita, Calif. – Junior Angel Valdez led CSU Bakersfield's cross country team Saturday morning as the Roadrunners competed in the Master’s University Mustang Challenge. Valdez crossed the finish line slightly short of a new personal record in the 5k race.

“We had good efforts out of Angel and Paradise,” said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth. “We are way ahead of where we were this time last year. Right now, we are running without our No. 3 and 4 runners. I’m proud of the effort and attitude of my team.”

Valdez ran a time of 18:51.8, missing her former record by eight tenths of a second (18:51.1). The junior from Bakersfield led the ‘Runners for the eighth consecutive race and finished 21st overall among 142 student-athletes from programs including UC Irvine and UCLA.

Freshman Paradise Pelzer, a graduate of North High School, and senior Tori Blackmon finished second and third for the ‘Runners, respectively. Pelzer placed 55th overall (19:41.1) while Blackmon crossed the line with a time of 21:25.0.

Freshman Irma Torres, another native of Bakersfield, finished behind Blackmon Saturday morning with a time of 22:31.7. Rounding out the CSUB Top 5 was freshmen Genny Medina (23:22.5), who scored for the first time for the ‘Runners.

CSUB finished with a team average of 21:10.4 at the Central Park course in Santa Clarita. The ‘Runners place second of two NCAA Division I teams behind UC Irvine. UCLA’s squad ran with just four runners, not enough to compile a team score.

The ‘Runners will return to action in two weeks when CSUB heads to Claremont, Calif. for the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. The 6k race will take place Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:45 a.m. For final results from the Mustang Challenge, click the individual and team results links.