Sonoma State University cross country runner Gianna Bomarito will continue her standout season and represent SSU at the NCAA National Championships following her third-place finish Saturday at the NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Championships.
The Seawolves’ women’s cross country team, running in cold and wet conditions on the Ash Creek Preserve course in Monmouth, Oregon, earned a 17th-place finish, the program's best team finish at a regional since 2011. Head coach David Lawrence Jr. has now led SSU to three straight top-20 finishes at the NCAA regional and adds another feather to his cap with sophomore Bomarito earning an automatic qualifier to nationals — the first SSU participant at nationals since 2001, and just the second in the program’s history.
Bomarito made the second regional appearance of her SSU career and did not disappoint, leading for a large portion of the race while recording a 6K time of 20:50.3, representing the top finisher from the CCAA.
The West Region showing comes on the heels of Bomarito shattering the individual conference record October 21 in the CCAA Championships at Quarry Lakes in Fremont. Her first-place finish and third win of the season led the Seawolves to a seventh-place finish, their best team performance at the conference championships since 2004.
Bomarito's dominant performance again led the Seawolves on Saturday, but five other SSU runners also recorded season bests. First-year runner Liliana Salado was the team's next best finisher with a time of 23:03.5, good for a personal best. Veterans Sophie Rodriguez and Abby Ribet recorded times under 24 minutes to finish with season bests and round out the top-50 for the Seawolves.
Junior Maddy Petersen and freshman Loralye Clements were the other two Seawolf runners with personal bests. Petersen finished with a time of 24:07.7 and Clements with a time of 25:02.0. Fellow freshman Abby Carroll competed in her first 6K event of the season and recorded a time of 26:33.8 to conclude things for Sonoma State.
Conference champion, conference runner of the year, first conference champion in program history, program record, CCAA record time – and now the first berth at Nationals since SSU great Kathy Lenno competed in 2001 – all belong to Bomarito.