San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Cross Country is fired up before their season debut at Cal Poly-hosted meet

San Diego State’s record holder for the 6K, Jessica Kain, returns to the Mesa for a final season as part of a team full of returners
Derrick Tuskan
Image courtesy of SDSU Athletics. (Derrick Tuskan/San Diego State)

San Diego State’s cross country team will go the distance, competing in the Big West Preview meet against the big dogs of the West.

The Aztecs are set to compete against schools from the Big West Conference. Cal Poly is one of the top ranked programs in the conference. Other big name schools such as UC Davis, UC Irvine and many more will also be in attendance.

This year’s roster has 10 returning runners, six which were point scorers at the NCAA West Regional meet in Seattle last season.

“The team is solid this year and we have all been here together working,” said Jessica Kain, who is in her fifth year with the team.

Kain, Lauren Harper, Alex Lomeli, Vanessa Cabello, Bella Peretti and Maddy Parrone are SDSU’s returning NCAA point-scorers. All are scheduled to run the meet opener with the exception of Lomeli.

Coming off a historic season, Kain was named the fastest runner at state in the 6K. She broke the record last September at UC Riverside with a time of 20:46.5.

As a graduate student now, Kain plans to continue her journey with the team — that is hopeful to qualify for nationals.

Kain said she is in “really good shape” and has stayed consistent with her training over the summer.

The team trained in Mammoth, Calif. for 10 days earlier this month to prepare for the season goal, which is to place at the Mountain West Championships.

Newcomers include freshman Sophia Connerton-Nevin and junior Eva Rethmeier, a Division I transfer from Cal State Fullerton. Rethmeier, who is from San Diego, took 15th place in the 5K at the Big West Championships in 2021.

The Aztecs placed fourth out of five teams in the last season opener in Irvine, Calif. Kain led the team, followed by Harper and Cabello.

“Friday will be a good first meet for us competing against several highly ranked teams, so it will be great competition to really gauge where we’re at to start the season,” said head coach Robert Lusitana, in an article with GoAztecs.

Cal Poly was the 2022 Big West cross country champion and the meet could see the return of Julia Heckey, who finished third overall in the Big West.

Cal Poly will be hosting the 5K meet on Friday, Sept. 1 at 8:30 a.m. at Blacklake Golf Course in Nipomo, Calif.