College of the Redwoods will host the Golden Valley Conference cross country championships on Friday, with eyes on a big double.
Longtime head coach Reed Elmore has built a strong program at the local community college and believes this year’s men’s team has the depth and talent to upset longtime nemesis Butte College.
“On the men’s side, CR has a good shot of contending for the top spot, but it will be a dog fight with longtime rival Butte,” Elmore said. “Shasta and Siskiyous will also present a quality challenge, which will make for a fun meet to watch.”
The CR men recently got the better of the Roadrunners at the Pat Ryan Cross Country Invitational in Santa Rosa, so they won’t lack confidence going into this week’s big meet.
Eureka’s Ian Bennett has been one of the team’s leading runners this season, with Kyle Byrne, Sean Dugdale, Thomas Becannon and Henry Lamb rounding out a very strong top-five.
The CR women, meanwhile, are led by Fortuna’s Maggie Stacy and will be the only full team on hand.
“On the Women’s side, we will provide the only full team which is a great testament to our students’ commitment,” Elmore said. “We want to continue to see how each member improves individually before the NorCal championships.”
Kristin Bonomini, Brianna Green, Cheyenne Wilson and Desaraie Cox round out a solid top-five for the team.
The women’s race will be a 5K and begins at 11 a.m., while the men’s four-mile race begins at noon.
Other schools competing include Butte College, Shasta College, and College of the Siskiyous.
The course is open to preview the day before the race and up to 15 minutes prior to Friday’s start.
The course includes cement, grass and trails, and Elmore believes it’s a challenging design.
“It’s a great course that will test all the athletes to their fullest extent while providing them a unique experience of running in a coastal climate, instead of the valley where the meet is usually held,” he said.
An awards ceremony will be held immediately following the men’s race.