Bakersfield native Valdez shines for CSUB at NCAA cross country regionals

Posted at 1:30 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 16:30:54-05

California State Bakersfield junior Angel Valdez concluded another standout cross country season by breaking her own CSU Bakersfield record in Friday’s 6K race at the NCAA West Regional.

Valdez also improved upon the Roadrunners’ previous best finish at Regionals by sixteen places.

“Angel crushed it today,” said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth, CSUB’s Director of Track and Field and Cross Country. “She went out there and ran her race and I couldn’t be more proud.”

In the midst of a massive field of 238 student-athletes, Valdez raced to a 118th-place finish at Haggin Oaks Golf Course. The placing improved CSUB’s previous best finish, achieved by Cassey Glassey in 2010, by 16 spots.

A native of Bakersfield, Valdez posted a time of 21:50.1 on Saturday as she became the first ‘Runner in CSUB Division I history to go under 22 minutes. The graduate of East High School reset her own record from earlier this year, improving her time by almost 30 seconds (22:19).

Fellow Bakersfield native and freshman Paradise Pelzer joined Valdez on the course in Sacramento and put together a strong showing in her first Regional appearance. Pelzer finished 228th overall in 24:28.1 while just missing her personal best 6K time by a few seconds.

Valdez has one year left to pace CSUB's cross country team while Pelzer's future remains bright. With the cross country season concluded, both will begin preparing to switch over to the track and field season. The ‘Runner women will kick off the indoor season in January.