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Young men’s cross country team looks to excel with hard work

Young men’s cross country team looks to excel with hard work

Terrance Ellis is one of the Cal State Stanislaus men’s cross country runners returning to make a solid run this season.

POSTED August 19, 2011 10:13 p.m.

Last year was about rebuilding for the Cal State Stanislaus men’s cross country team.

This year, it’s all about winning, according to Coach Diljeet Taylor.

“This should be a solid pack,” Taylor said. “The top three will definitely be leading the team.”

The team is led by top returner Dawson Vorderbrugge, a senior from Honolulu. In hopes of maximizing his years of college eligibility, Vorderbrugge redshirted the 2010 season, dedicating himself to a 2011 comeback.

“Last year we were rebuilding with a lot of young guys,” Taylor said. “He has come back quite a bit stronger.”

Vordebrugge is joined by two top recruits out of American River College – Tomas Evangelista and Anthony Fagundes. Both saw success at the junior college level, running 4k races near the 21 minute mark.

Taylor admits the team is still young, slightly lacking in experience, and competing in the tough California Collegiate Athletic Association. But so far, the hard work put in by the team is looking to counteract those challenges, with runners already posting faster training camp times than expected.

“People came in to the season from summer training in better shape than I expected,” Taylor said. “I’m amazed at where we stand right now, and we continue to work.”

That work tallies between 25 and 70 miles a week for most runners, a daunting schedule of hills, interval training, distance days, and, of course, the races themselves. All of this comes before 7 a.m., in hopes of beating the notorious Valley heat.

“It’s intense mileage,” Taylor said. “It’s a lot of work. I’m proud of them for making a commitment and giving it their all.”

The team will see their first true test on Sept. 10, at Sacramento State’s annual Hornet Invite.

But runners – and the public—will have a chance to see just how far the team has come in just one week, at the 9 a.m.  Aug. 27 Running of the Warriors. The annual 5K run/walk, which benefits Cal State Stanislaus Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and functions as community outreach, sees runners from local high schools and back roads alike paying $20 for a chance to run with the Cal State Stanislaus team.

To make things a touch fairer, members of the public are given a two minute head start on the collegiate runners.

But despite that head start, has a member of the public ever beaten a member of a Cal State Stanislaus cross country team?

“Not yet,” Taylor said with a laugh.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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