War paint, stampedes of people and a group of shirtless Warriors gritting their teeth while pounding on the hard pavement.
No, it wasn’t a scene from "Apocalypto", it was the 2013 California State University, Stanislaus cross country team.
On Saturday morning, hundreds of community members and athletes gathered at the campus of CSU Stanislaus to participate in the “Running of the Warriors,” a 5K fundraising effort hosted by the men's and women's cross country programs on campus. Although the event’s primary purpose is to raise funds for the school’s cross country programs , it also serves a double purpose.
A sneak peak of the upcoming season.
The gun that signaled the start of the race shot off at exactly 9 a.m. Two minutes later, the actual members of the university’s team also darted off, chasing the pack of community members who had left moments before. The point of the delayed start is to separate the athletes trying to make the team, from those community members who are running in support of the program.
The athletes didn't disappoint.
The first CSU Stanislaus finisher for the men's side was returning runner Dean Alley. Alley, now a senior, clocked in at 16 minutes, 22 seconds for the 3.2 mile race. Alley stated that being one of the returners is something he hopes to use to his advantage.
“I know I’m not the fastest guy, but I definitely want to be one of the hardest working,” said Alley. “If I can do that, then I can set an example for the rest of these new kids.”
On the women's side, the top finisher was senior Dallas Campbell. Campbell, who moved up in the ranks last season, finished with a time of 17 minutes, 46 seconds.
“The race was a good start to this season,” said Campbell. “I'm really excited to see this team progress and grow.”
Head coach Diljit Taylor said she was excited about the results of the race.
“We’re looking really good,” said Taylor. “Considering we just got back from high altitude training camp, I’m very impressed.”
The first official race for the Warrior’s 2013 cross country season will be on Sept. 13 at the UC Riverside Invitational.