CLAREMONT, Calif. – A record-breaking performance by Angel Valdez highlighted the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational for the CSU Bakersfield cross country team on Saturday. Valdez, a Bakersfield native, raced to a time of 22:20.1 to break the Roadrunners’ Division I 6k race record.
“This was a tough race, but the first couple of miles you have so much adrenaline pushing you,” said Valdez after the race. “It’s the end of the race where I really have to dig deep to finish strong.”
The previous record of 22:22 was set seven years ago by Casey Glassey. Valdez, a junior, bested the school record by two seconds while improving her personal best by one minute (23:20). The North High School graduate's mark of 22:20.1 was fast enough for third overall among more than 100 student-athletes.
After pacing CSUB for the third straight race this season, Valdez extended her streak of consecutive races leading the ‘Runners to nine, second-best in CSUB Division I history (11, LaShya Morgan, 2013-14).
Crossing the line second for CSUB on Saturday was freshman Paradise Pelzer with a time of 24:23.7. The Bakersfield native’s mark came in just her first collegiate 6k race while Pelzer sits only 34 seconds outside of CSUB’s Top 10 list in the race. Pelzer placed 45th overall in the field.
Fellow freshman Irma Torres finished third for the ‘Runners in Claremont with a time of 25:33.5. Senior Tori Blackmon finished three places behind Torres in 65th overall with a time of 25:41.1. Sophomore Heather Segrest rounded out the scoring five at 27:33.6 while Genny Medina crossed the line sixth for CSUB (28:09.3).
CSUB wrapped up the regular season on Saturday and will have one weekend off before heading to the Western Athletic Conference Championships. Set for Oct. 29 in Seattle, Wash., Valdez and the ‘Runners will be prepared to battle for the league title and All-Conference honors at the WAC meet.