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 Scott Cathcart


Jen Williams, Women

Hugh Gerhardt, Men

Cross Country



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2014 Men's, Women's Roster, Schedule-Results

2014 season ...

ABOVE: Palomar sophomore Jessica Steinhoff (nearest camera) runs in the California community college state meet on Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno. She finished 15th out of 197 finishers.BELOW: Betancourt (253) and Steinhoff (254) -- Courtesy photos

Comets' Steinhoff runs to 15th in field of 197

FRESNO (11-22-2014) -- Palomar's Jessica Steinhoff capped her sophomore cross country season by running to a 15th-place finish in the field of 197 runners in Saturday's CCCAA State Meet at Woodward Park.

Steinhoff was timed in 18:51.0 for 5 kilometers in a race won by Amitat Olowara from Nigeria and Southwestern College. Olowar won the individual title easily with a 16:59.7.

Steinhoff's Palomar teammate Jessica Betancourt, the only other Comet in the meet, finished 93rd in 20:15.9.

Mt. SAC captured the women's title with 79 points. Of Pacific Coast Athletic Conference teams with enough runners to score, Southwestern took third place, San Diego Mesa eighth and Cuyamaca 21st place

College of the Cnayons brought home the men's championship with 79 points. Southwestern finished 13th and Cuyamaca 21st.

Hartnell's Diego Leon took the individual men's title with a 20:09.4 for 4.0 miles. Palomar didn't have any men's qualifiers for the meet.

It's onto state finals for two Palomar women

VAN NUYS (11-07-2014) -- Two Palomar runners qualified for the CCCAA State Championships in the Southern California Regional finals on Friday.

Jessica Steinhoff (left) placed 16th in the SoCal race in 18:59 for 5 kilometers and Jessica Betancourt (right) was 80th in 20:38 in a 177-runner field at Woodley Park.

Southwestern's Amitat Olowora won the race in 17:31.4. Glendale edged Mt. SAC for the team title 61-79. Palomar took 20th out of 27 teams with 507 points.

No Palomar men qualified for state. Matthew Bellah was the Comets' top finisher, running 4.0 miles in 22:23 to finish 115th out of 207 finishers. The race winner, Lucio Rodriguez of Orange Coast, ran 20:03.

College of the Canyons won the team championship with 90 points. Palomar was 24th out of 28 teams with 664 points.

The state meet will be run on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Comets' Betancourt, Steinhoff finish 3rd, 5th

SEELY, CA (10-30-2014) -- Palomar's Jessica Betancourt (left) and Jessica Steinhoff finished third and fifth, respectively, in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference women's cross country finals that was hosted by Imperial Valley College at Sunbeam State Park.

Betancourt ran the 5K course in 19:32 on the way to her third-place finish. Steinhoff finished in 19:43.

Southwestern's Amitat Olowara, national champion of Nigeria in the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and 1500 meters two years ago, ran away with the gold medal with a 17:24 time, winning easily over the second-place finisher, Southwestern teammate Erika Gonzales. Gonzales ran an 18:40.

The Palomar women finished fourth out of six teams in the meet. Southwestern won with 43 points, followed by San Diego Mesa with 48, Cuyamca 59, the Comets with 86 points, Imperial Valley 139 and San Diego City College 170.

Also for Palomar, Sarah Martinez (22.27) placed 22nd, Olivia Wray (23:05) 25th, Christina Gaillard (24:27) 35th, Maria Linares (26:37) 43rd and Sarah Meyers (18:12) 49th.

Three Comets finished in the top 20 in the men's race, which was won by Southwestern's George Martinez in 20:14 over a 4.0-mile course. The second-place finisher, the Jaguars' Bryan Alvado, ran a 20:27.

Matthew Bellah (above right) was Palomar's top finisher, running 21:29 for 11th place. Cody-Ray Wilson placed 15th in 21:21 and Joshua Cruz was 18th in 21:46.

Leonardo Alcaraz (22:10) placed 24th, Kevin Clukey (22:15) was 25th, Richard Murillo (22:18) placed 26th, Noah Siegel (23:06) 30th, Sean Pruitt (23:20) 32nd, Noah Newton (23:34) 34th, Robert Dehoyos (23:47) 38th and James Singler (27:58) 45th.

Southwestern won the men's team title with 22 points, followed by Cuyamaca with 42, Mesa 68, Palomar 91, San Diego City College 155 and Imperial Valley with no score. The Comet men, like the women, also finished fourth out of six teams.

Men 3rd; Ex-Comet Bouvatte women's winner

SAN MARCOS (10-18-2014) -- On a day that Matt Bellah (left) led Palomar's men's cross country team to third place out of six teams at Cal State University San Marcos' Cougar Challenge on Saturday, former Comet Kate Bouvatte (right) won the women's race for the host Cougars for the second straight year, running CSUSM'S 5K campus course in 17:01.

Bouvatte's performance led Cal State San Marcos to a first-place finish with a perfect 15-point total. Palomar, meanwhile, finished fifth in team scoring in a nine-team field with 142 points.

Cal State San Marcos also won the men's race with 15 points, followed by Cuyamaca College (55 points) in second, the Comets (89) in third, Soka University (125) in fourth, San Diego City College (136) in fifth and San Diego Christian University (156) in sixth.

Bellah, a sophomore from Vista High School, who has been the Palomar's top finisher all season long, ran the 8K men's course in 27:49, placing 14th among entries from scoring teams and 52nd overall out of 143 runners in a race that drew numerous unattached competitors.

Cody-Ray Wilson ran a 27:58 and finished 16th among runners from scoring teams and 56th overall. Joshua Cruz had a 28:38 time as he placed 18th among entries from scoring teams and 62nd overall. Richard Murillo was 20th among runners from scoring teams and 71st overall. Noah Newton ran to a 21st place among entries from scoring teams and was 72nd overall, rounding out Palomar's top five.

In the women's race, the Comets' top runner all season, Jessica Steinhoff, ran to an eighth-place among entries from scoring teams and was 14th overall in a 141-runner field, finishing the 5K course in 18:28.

Trailing CSUSM in women's team scoring were second-place San Bernardino Valley College with 82 points, third place San Diego Mesa (91), fourth-place Cuyamaca (98), the Comets in fifth, sixth-place Soka University (161), seventh-place Imperial Valley (190), eighth-place San Diego Christian University (232) and ninth-place San Diego City College (242).

Palomar's second finisher, Jessica Betancourt, ran 19:03 and took 15th place among runners from scoring teams and 26th overall. Christina Gaillard was 31st among runners from scoring teams with a 16:52 and was 72nd overall. Haidee Ortiz was 39th among runners from scoring teams and 83rd overall. Maria Linares placed 49th against runners from scoring teams and took 103rd overall.

Women take 5th place and Men finish in 10th

ORANGE (10-10-2014) -- Palomar's women's cross country team finished fifth out of 11 teams and the Comets' men squad placed 10th out of of 15 teams at the Brubaker Invitational hosted by Santa Ana College on Friday at Irvine Regional Park.

Cerritos (39 points), Riverside City College (54), Southwestern (97) and the Comets (135) finished in first through fifth place in team scoring in the women's race. El Camino finished 15 points back of Palomar in sixth. The other Pacific Coast Athletic Conference team in the race, San Diego City College, placed 10th with 288 points.

Two Comets were among the top 11 individual finishers in the 96-woman field. Jessica Steinhoff ran the 5K course in 19:51 to place ninth. Jessica Betancourt (above left) finished with a 20:01.6 time to place 11th.

Sarah Martinez (33rd in 21:10.7), Olivia Wray (42nd in 21:50.3) and Haidee Ortiz (54th) in 23:08.8 rounded out Palomar's top five finishers. Miria Linares placed 67th and Christina Gaillard was 70th as they rounded out the Comets' top seven.

In the men's race, San Bernardino Valley placed first in team scoring with 51 points, with Saddleback second with 89 points and Southwestern third with 100 points. Palmar totaled 135 points in its fifth-place finish. The other PCAC team in the race, San Diego City College, took 14th place with 436 points.

Matt Bellah (28th place in the 152-man field with a 4.0-mile time of 22:00.8) and Cody-Ray Smith (upper right, 46th with a 22:38.17) were Palomar's top two men's finishers.

Joshua Cruz (61st place), Kevin Clukey (64th), Richard Murillo (79th), Noah Newto (86th) and Noah Siegel (92) rounded out the top seven finishers for the Comets.

Steinhoff, Bellah again lead Comet women, men

HUNTINGTON BEACH (9-26-2014) -- Little changed for Palomar's women's and men's cross country teams in Friday's Golden West College Invitational at Central Park.

Jessica Steinhoff (left) again had the best finish for the women's team, placing 18th in a 144-runner field with a 19:24.6 for 5 kilometers. Defending state champion Laura Aceves of East Los Angeles won the race in 18:05.1.

Matt Bellah again led the men, finishing 73rd out of 199 runners in 22:05.8 on a 4.0-mile course. The race winner, Rodrigo Ornelas of College of the Canyons, ran 20:05.9.

Jessica Betencourt (38th in 20:24.8), Sarah Martinez (56th in 21:16.6), Olivia Wray (83rd in 22:28.8) and Haidee Ortiz (102nd in 23:31.2) rounded out Palomar's top five women's finishers.

In the men's race, Richard Murillo (92nd in 22:31.2), Cody-Ray Wilson (100th in 22:38.8), Joshua Cruz (122nd in 23:18.6) and Noah Siegal (13th in 2:29.1) rounded out the Comets' top five finishers.

The Palomar women placed ninth out of 15 teams with 264 points. Glendale won the team title with 49 points. The men were 16th in a 21-team field with 461 points. College of the Canyons captured the team championship with 34 points.

Jessica Steinhoff (top photo) and Matt Bellah both fight their way through crowds on Friday in the Southern California Community College Preview Meet at Woodley Park in Van Nuys. Steinhoff, who finished 18th in the women's race, and Bellah have been Palomar's top finishers in every race this season. -- Photos courtesy of Hugh Gerhardt

PC's Steinhoff brings home 18th-place finish

VAN NUYS (9-19-2014) -- Palomar sophomore Jessica Steinhoff continued to stand out in a crowd on Friday as she ran to an 18th-place finish in the women's division at the Southern California Community College Preview Meet hosted by Los Angeles Trade Tech at Woodley Park.

Steinhoff finished the 5-kilometer course, which will be the site of the Southern California finals on Nov. 2, in 19:22. East Los Angeles' Laura Aceves, the defending state individual champion, ran away with the race in 18:11.7. Glendale outdistanced College of the Canyons 51-68 for the women's team title and Palomar placed 11th.

Also for Palomar's women, Jessica Betancourt ran a 10:20 to place 38th, Sarah Martinez clocked a 20:42 and Olivia Wray ran 21:46.

Matt Bellah again was the No. 1 finisher for the Comets' men's team, taking 97th place with a 4.0-mile time of 22:02.7. Cody Lee Wilson was the second Comet to finish, placing 123rd in 22:32.8. Richard Murillo had a 22:49.5 time.

The Palomar men were 26th in the 31-team field with 649 points.

Steinhoff shares PCAC Athlete of Week honor

SAN DIEGO (9-08-2014) -- Palomar cross country runner Jennifer Steinhoff, a sophomore from Fallbrook High School, has been selected as Women's Co-Athlete of the Week for all sports in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Steinhoff (left) ran away with the women's individual title in the Palomar Invitational cross country meet on Friday over a 5K course at Guajome Regional Park, which cuts through parts of both Oceanside and Vista.

Steinhoff gradually drew away from Fullerton's Alethea Streeter as she won the race in 20:08. Streeter, who hung with Steinhoff for awhile, finished 16 seconds back in 20:24.

Steinhoff, who ran on the JV team at Fallbrook and eased her way onto the collegiate level as Palomar's No. 6 runner as a freshman last season, continued her steady career progress with her performance.

She shared Athlete of the Week honors with Southwestern cross country runner Amitat Olowara (right), a freshman from Aunti Ayds Girls Comprehensive High School in Lagos, Nigeria.

Oliwara a triple track & field gold medalist in the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and 1500 meters representing the state of Lagos in Nigeria's 18th National Sports Festival two years ago, ran away with the women's title in the Rio Hondo Classic at Legg Lake Park in South El Monte.

Oliwara ran the 5K course in 16:33 to dust defending CCCAA state champion Laura Aceves from East Los Angeles, who came in second. Aceves finished 1 minute, 19 seconds in back of Oliwara, with a 17:52.

TOP PHOTO AND BELOW LEFT: Palomar's Jessica Steinhoff leads the field in Friday's Palomar Invitational. No. 125 at left in the top photo is Fullerton's Alethea Streeter. Steinhoff and Streeter finished 1-2. DIRECTLY ABOVE: The Comets' Matthew Bellah chases Imperial Valley's Eduardo Rendon in the men's race. Rendon finished ninth and Bellah was 18th. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Comets' Steinhoff runs off with women's race

OCEANSIDE / VISTA (9-05-2014) -- Palomar's sophomore Jessica Steinhoff ran away with the women's individual title in the Palomar Invitational cross country meet on Friday over a 5K course at Guajome Regional Park, which cuts through parts of both Oceanside and Vista.

Steinhoff, a sophomore out of Fallbrook High School, gradually drew away from Fullerton's Alethea Streeter as she won the race in 20:08. Streeter, who hung with Steinhoff for awhile, finished 16 seconds back in 20:24. Azahalea Vazquez of Santa Ana placed third in 20:34 and Palomar's Jessica Betancourt finished fourth with a 20:55 as the Comets placed second in team scoring.

Fullerton defeated Palomar 43-34 for the team championship. Santa Ana (65 points), Imperial Valley (82) and San Diego City College (119) trailed.

The Comets' also pickd up an 11th-place finish from Sarah Martinez, who ran 21:30, 13th from Olivia Wray (22:22), 22nd from Christina Gaillard (23:44), 32nd from Maria Linares and 47th place from Sarah Meyers.

In the men's race, Matthew Bellah was Palomar's top finisher in 17th place, running 22.45 over 4.0 miles for 18th place, as the Comets finished fifth out of six scoring teams.

 Saddleback won the team chamionship with 30 points, led by Scott Curran (20:55) and Ulysses Orozco who ran 1-2 in 20:55 and 21:19, respectfully in placing 1-2. The Gauchos were followed by Cuyamaca (54), Fullerton (70), Santa Ana (80), the Comets (119) and San Diego City (187). Imperial Valley and Victor Valley, the other two teams in the meet, didn't have enough runners in the race to score.

Also for Palomar, Kevin Clukey finished 22nd in 22:59, Joshua Cruz was 28th, Noah Siegal 30th, Cody-Ray Wilson 33rd, Richard Murillo 35th, Leonardo Alcarez 38th, Sean Pruitt 42nd, Robert Dehoyos 44th and Noah Hewton placed 45th.

Comets run to two 12th places vs. D-I teams

BREA (8-30-2014) -- Opening the season in a field of NCAA Division I teams, Palomar's women's and men's cross country squads ran to a pair of 12th-place finishes on Saturday morning in the Mart Covert Classic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton at Carbon Canyon Park.

The women's team scored 339 points as Loyola Marymount University won with 32 points. USC was second with 52 points and San Diego State placed third with 56 points.

Jessica Steinhoff (left) was the Comets' top finisher, running the 5K course in 19:49.4 to finish 42nd out of 147 entries. Jessica Betancourt placed 104th in 21:26. Sarah Martinez was 108th with a 21:41.5.

Palomar's men tallied 358 points as Long Beach State won with 40 points. Loyola Marymount was second with 42 points. Cal State Fullerton scored 76 points in finishing third.

Mathew Bellah was the Comets' top finisher, placing 88th out of 169 runners with a 28:42.3 for 8 kilometers. Cody Wilson was 11th in 29:40.4. Richard Murillo was 114th with a 29:46.6.

2013 season ...

PCAC Co-Champions



Santa Ana Community College
San Diego State Univ.
San Francisco State Univ.
Contact: (jwilliams3@palomar.edu)


HUGH GERHARDT, Head Men's Coach

Hugh Gerhardt
Foothill Community College
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo State Univ.
Contact: (hgerhardt@palomar.edu)



Gerry Alvarez Ashley Espinosa I. Aquiahuati Bethany Gracia Matthew Bellah
Aleiha Nelson Jonathan Larson Jesse Newman Sean Pruitt M. Sarmiento
Daniel Rivera Sydney Sniff Travis Robey Jessica Steinoff Kyle Ryan
Sharlyna Vu Noah Siegel A. Velasquez Sergio Vazquez Cody Wilson
Photos by Melinda Finn
Diego Zamora Robert DeHoyos      


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