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Women's Cross-Country
Home » Campus Life » Athletics » Sports » Women's Cross-Country » Program History

Program History

Cross country is a sport that most people do not know very much about.
It is a very simple, natural and pure competition consisting of running
on any terrain. Most community college women's races are 5k (3 miles).
The training is challenging because it requires running long distance,
intervals, short-fast repeats and hills etc. All of this in any weather
conditions (cross country races do not get cancelled because of
rain/snow or anything) with any number of competitors (from ten up to
thousand's) across all types of land surfaces (ie: cross country). It is
basically what people have been doing as long as people have been on
Earth...survival of the fittest.

Here at Grossmont College, we have a tradition of having some of the
greatest runners, coaches and teams in the nation since the 1960's.
Starting with Ron Vavra and Bob Larsen, our teams have won 12 State
Championships and some of the athletes have competed at the highest
level, the Olympics. Bob Larsen's Grossmont teams won 8 State
Championships in a row and he has since become one of the premier
distance coaches for world class athletes (including Meb Keflezigi -2004
Olympic marathon silver medalist).

Our program has become known for taking athletes with no experience, or
less developed high school runners and turning out top level competitors
and top high school runners become the best in college. We begin
training in the Spring with easy base training (anyone interested in
trying cross country should start with the spring class) and pick up the
distance in the summer. In the fall the most dedicated, serious runners
who stay committed to the intense training make the team and earn the
opportunity to race.

Our team started out with a very large group this year and now just a
few of the toughest athletes have survived. This years' team looks like
one of the best we have had in a long time! The XC team has been
training very hard. Their effort and dedication are being proven through
their achievements, times are dropping fast! The competition is very
good this year in the P.C.C. and throughout So. Cal. This is great for
our team, it brings out the best in them and pushes them to new records
and higher levels of ability.

History and Tradition

Grossmont College cross country runners have been some of the best in the state and country throughout our programs history. In fact, few Community Colleges or Universities in the nation can compare to the accomplishments of our athletes. Grossmont College Cross Country teams have won the California State Championship twelve times, and have placed in the top five in the state for 23 years out of 34 years of competition. Individual Grossmont runners have won the State Championship ten times, and 26 individuals have placed in the top 5. The following athletes are Cross Country State Champions who ran for Grossmont College: Ed Mendoza (2 x State Champion and Olympian), Sue Gelley, Terry Cotton, Rich Brownsberger, Rick Rose, Steve McCormack, Rodney Rivera, Bob Lamorandier, and Mark Dani. Obviously there have been many awesome athletes at Grossmont College, however, the following coaches are responsible for developing these athletes and building the Championship Teams:
Bob Larsen (8 x Cross Country State Champion teams/coach of many elite and Olympic athletes), Ron Vavra (1 x Cross Country State Champion team and his Grossmont College teams won over 100 Track and Field meets), Jim Peabody (2 x Cross Country State Champion teams), Mike Muirhead (1 x Cross Country State Champion team), Tom Lux, Bill Cleeves, Pat King and Megan Haber. Many of these coaches are still coaching today at local high schools; Bob Larsen coached Meb Keflezighi to a silver medal in the marathon at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Why Grossmont College is such a great place to run...

The Grossmont College campus is located next to Mission Trails Regional Park. This includes Cowles Mountain, Fortuna Mountain, Mission Gorge, Lake Murray, a golf course and many miles of incredible running trails over desert terrain, along rivers, lakes and up hills and mountains. Some of our training locations also include Balboa Park, Mission Bay and several local beaches and mountains. It doesn't get better than this in Southern California...or anywhere!

Last Updated: 10/07/2014
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  • Cuyamaca
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