Cal Baptist adds cross country program

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — California Baptist University will add men’s and women’s cross country as intercollegiate sports, Athletic Director Kevin Steele announced today.

The Lancers will begin competing in the fall of 2008, and a national search for a head coach will begin immediately. In addition to wrestling, which was added last week, CBU will now offer 20 sports.

“We are pleased to bring men’s and women’s cross country back to the CBU campus and intend for it to move quickly into national prominence,” said Steele, who has now overseen the addition of six sports since he began at CBU in the summer of 2005.

California Baptist first sponsored cross country in the 1960s and then again ran it from 1995-2003. CBU was once a GSAC-power and national-contender in men’s cross country, claiming four straight GSAC titles and four straight Top 10 finishes at the NAIA Championships from 1998-2001, including a third place finish in 2001. Also, the Lancer women advanced to three straight NAIA Championships from 1998-2000.

CBU becomes the tenth Golden State Athletic Conference institution to compete in both men’s and women’s cross country. Four GSAC men’s teams were ranked in the final NAIA Top 25 of 2007, while five women’s teams were ranked.

Currently 192 NAIA institutions sponsor men’s cross country while 199 institutions sponsor women’s cross country. The NAIA Championships are usually run the third weekend of November.