Gonzalez helps Gators capture ninth place at the Capital Cross Challenge

Carlos Mario Gonzalez of Pittsburg, Calif runs in the 10k race and nabs the 40th overall spot with a recorded time of 25:54:42 in the Capital Cross Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Paul Tait / Special to Golden Gate Xpress)

The 2019 San Francisco State Men’s Cross Country team began the year on a high note with an assortment of qualifying finalists. 

The team finished in ninth place coming out of the Capital Cross Challenge in a pool of 30 schools on Saturday, Sept. 28. Kinesiology major and Gators redshirt junior Carlos Mario Gonzalez of Pittsburg, California was the lead dog for the Gators at the 2.1-mile split with a clock time of 10:56.3 in the event. 

Gonzalez began play last season with a twenty-ninth overall sectional finish at the SF State Invitational on Sept. 21, 2018 with a career best, and record setting time of 26:56.9. Gonzalez built upon last season’s performance at this year’s event, the Capital Cross Challenge by surpassing his milestone time at the SF State Invitation with an astounding time of 26:44.9, a ranked finish of 18th place for the Gators. 

Gonzalez would catapult the Gators by taking the 40th spot, being the leader of the pack for SF State by crossing the finish line for the second time on the very early season in the 10K race with a recorded time of 25:54.42.

This season, the Gators split the overall ranking in half by finishing in ninth place, out-striving California Collegiate Athletic Association divisional rival Cal State Monterey Bay as well as some notable familiar Northern California opponents like Dominican, Notre Dame de Namur and the haphazard Hawks of Holy Names, who the Gators beat in most athletic competitions over the last couple years.

Tom Lyons, currently entering his fifteenth year as the head coach of the SF State men’s cross country program, was announced as the director of track and field and cross country in Sept. 2018. During his tenure at SF State, Lyons was the head coach for the women’s cross country team and served as the interim head coach for the women’s track and field team, most notably coaching 20 NCAA Division II All-Americans.

The Gators are set to return home to the Bay Area to host the SF State Invitational on Oct. 11 at the Golden Gate Park speedway meadow. The men’s race is scheduled to begin at 2:40 p.m.