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CSUS’s Nunes hopes to be a tough challenger again

CSUS’s Nunes hopes to be a tough challenger again

Members of the Cal State Stanislaus men's and women's cross country teams take a light stroll in front of Warrior Stadium on Friday morning.


POSTED August 21, 2009 9:29 p.m.
At today’s Running of the Warriors on the Cal State Stanislaus campus starting at 9 a.m., community members will lead off this second annual fundraiser that covers five kilometers.
A minute later, cross country coach Diljeet Dosanjh Taylor will release her runners in hopes of having them catch up and pass up the locals, as the late-start is an incentive for them to turn in their best times which will be used as indicators leading up to the fall season.
Joey Nunes doesn’t need any extra motivation.
He’s been challenged before, and with greater circumstances.
He’s the face of the Warriors men’s cross country program that wants to finish higher than 10th at the West Regional meet, which was what happened last season. He’s the men’s top runner, one who says very little of himself.
“I expect to improve my best time, get better,” he said of the 2009 season.
Nunes, however, was part of an unforgettable race last season. It was at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships and he wanted to finish in the top 15, to be one of the guys to earn all-conference honor. He came in 16th.
“I was running and something clicked,” he remembered. “I told myself, ‘So many times before I finished in the award ceremony by one spot, two spots off.’ I didn’t want that taken away from me. As I was running, I said, ‘Are you a contender or pretender?’ ”
Contender, of course.
Encouragement surrounded him. The Stanislaus women runners were jogging along the final mile of the 8,000-meter run at the Glen Helen Regional Park outside of San Bernardino in a place called Devore. Nunes heard their support and he was able to push out an unbelievable finish: In the last mile, he passed up five runners to earn all-conference honors and a time of 26 minutes, 26.7 seconds.
“I think that race will inspire us the way it inspires the boys team,” says Rubye Foldager, who, along with twin sister Denali, is expected to lead a stronger and faster women’s team. “I think we will.”
The men have hopes of finishing big this season, too, the way Nunes — a second-year transfer from Las Positas Community College — did at the conference meet. Other key runners are Shane Brookshire and Dawson Vorderbruegge, who all hope they can finish somewhere in the top five as a team at regionals.
The Warriors look promising, considering they return all of last season’s runners.
And Nunes will be a big part of it all.
“I want to make a better impact in the larger races, like the conference and regionals,” he said. “All the races are important, but you really wanna do well at the end of the season. I just want to improve big time at the end of the year.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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