Fresno, Calif. – The Master’s College men’s cross country team won the GSAC Cross Country Championships Saturday morning at Woodward Park, as John Gilbertson brought home the first GSAC Individual Championship in school history.
Anthony Pizzo finished second in the GSAC men's race.
It was the final time the GSAC championships were held at Woodward Park. With Fresno Pacific, along with Azusa Pacific, and Point Loma Nazarene Universities leaving the GSAC next season, this year marked the end of a long and wonderful tradition of competition between the ten Golden State Athletic Conference schools; this perhaps the height of GSAC Cross Country. On this historic day for the GSAC, the Mustangs made quite a bit of history of their own.
In 2010, The Master’s College Men’s Cross Country team became the first men’s team in program history to win a GSAC Championship Title. Throughout the 2011 cross country season, the Mustang men have had their sights set on a repeat Conference Title. Going into the championship meet today, the squad remained undefeated in GSAC competition. Having prepared well for the opportunity, The Master’s men proved themselves to be the same team they have been all season long.
Winning the meet with a team time of 2:05:43, The Master’s College Men’s Cross Country Team made history, not only for their program, but for TMC Athletics, becoming the first team to win back to back Conference Championship Titles for the college.
Leading the way for the Mustangs was TMC’s dynamic duo, John Gilbertson and Anthony Pizzo. Performing just as they have all season long, the two juniors took the race out hard from the gun and did not back down. By the first downhill section, Pizzo and Gilbertson had pulled away from the rest of the field. Running side by side for eight kilometers, the two men finished 1st and 2nd, with Gilbertson crossing the line first in 24:05, followed by Pizzo (24:08).
Next to cross the line for the Mustangs was sophomore Matthew Crichton, narrowly missing All GSAC Honors, finishing 15th overall (25:43). Completing the score for Master’s was Paul Jesson (25:52) and Josiah Downer (25:56). With a team time just over two minutes faster than the 2010 team that finished 11th nationally, the TMC men’s squad looks ready to make more history at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, just two weeks from today; their goal: to step on the podium as a top three team.