In the fall season, the emphasis at Cal State Bakersfield is on women's sports: There are four of them currently competing, while only one men's team, soccer, is in action.
And those women are representing their school well. Consider the following accomplishments from this month alone:
• The women's soccer team swept matches this past weekend against St. Mary's and Grambling State at the St. Mary's Tournament in Moraga. That gives the Roadrunners a 5-3 record, their best mark through eight games as a Division I program. And these are cardiac kids: Three of the victories have come in overtime, including double-OT road wins against UTEP and St. Mary's.
• CSUB's women's golf team opened its season at the Hobble Creek Fall Classic in Springville, Utah, and tied the program's 18-hole record with a 299 in the final round Tuesday. That effort was led by Tori Peers' 3-over-par 74 and 75s from Ariel Lee, Sara Scheidt and Macey Mills.
• And in women's cross country, Angel Valdez continues to impress. A week after setting the school's 4-kilometer record at the Pepperdine Invitational, she set a personal best in the 5K at the Fresno State Invitational with a 18:18.2 to finish sixth. The Western Athletic Conference named Valdez its Cross Country Runner of the Week.
Youth served in the pool
CSUB's men's swimming and diving teams are less than a month away from action, meaning their many freshman athletes must get geared up for college competition quickly.
The women's roster features 12 freshmen and the men's team 11, putting a youthful twist on the latest season of one of the school's proudest programs.
"They're really pushing it right now," said junior captain Jake Chir on Tuesday's Roadrunner Rundown webcast on Bakersfield.com. "We've got a long ways to go, but they're already starting to make their own moves."
Jayssie Haynes, a sophomore who will swim in the 200-yard breaststroke at the U.S. Winter Nationals from Nov. 29-Dec. 2 in Columbus, Ohio, said she sometimes still thinks of herself as a freshmen, but that feeling is going away quickly.
"All of the upperclassmen are trying to be good role models: Show the freshmen how practice goes, how we cheer on the team, all of that," Haynes said.
Chir and Haynes agree that the incoming freshmen are green but talented and that they can help the team immediately.
"I think they bring a lot to the table," Haynes said. "I think a lot of girls will be surprised at what we can do this year."
And that's good, because CSUB has a challenging schedule: Pac-12 Conference opponents Oregon State and USC open the women's season Oct. 6, and dual meets against Hawaii, UNLV and Fresno State are included as well as trips to the USC and UNLV Invitationals. The men's schedule is similar but doesn't include the Oregon State and Fresno State dual meets.
"These big schools can expect what they wanna see, but I don't think they understand what we have to bring this year," Chir said. I think we'll shock a lot of big schools."