Hello fellow Highlanders, the 2012-13 academic school year has finally begun. I hope everyone had a wonderful break. Our athletic teams for the fall quarter are on a solid start to their 2012 season. I want to start out my first column as an acknowledgement that our UC Riverside cross country teams are capable of success. Since the 2003 season, both men’s and women’s cross country teams have consistently made it past the Big West Conference championship. 

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2012 season Aug. 31 with a second place finish at the three-mile Nevada Chase Race at San Rafael Park. What happened last year is in the past, but should not be forgotten. These athletes ought to be left with hunger for a better outcome. I believe the women’s two consecutive 2nd place finishes to start the year will play a vital part in their success from the experience it gives the team.
The women’s team is filled with a group of strong and eager students that will make it back into the NCAA West Regional Championship. Damajeria DuBose, Katy Daly and Jaasmin Pina will lead their squad as the only experienced seniors. The three of them have really matured and progressed since last year. I hope they help guide the four freshmen, three sophomores and one junior to success this year.
The men’s cross country runners were bounced in the NCAA West Regional Championship last year but I have faith this year. Coach Irv Ray is set for success with his young core of athletes. The experienced junior Seth Totten will lead the team as four freshmen and four sophomores follow suit.
I hope everyone is anxious and excited for the 2012-13 sports year because I know I am.