Running has always been Rick Browning’s passion. He has been running locally ever since he attended Lindhurst High School. Now, after Nick Vogt’s resignation last year, Browning is getting a chance to coach the cross country team at Yuba College. Coach Browning was the assistant cross country coach at Yuba College for three seasons and then took the position as the head coach of Lindhurst High School’s cross country team. He is taking over a Yuba team filled with talent, which includes star runner Zack Stuller. Stuller is a returning star for the cross country team and looks to improve on last year’s impressive season. Along with Stuller, Walter Sampley looks to pile up the miles in the rough courses on the schedule this year. For the women runners, Raquel Lopez, Carol Kent and Marifaith Schweitzer lead the way for what seems to be an excellent group of runners. This team has definite league champions and state meet qualifiers. It is up to coach Browning to dig the true talent out of these athletes.
At the past meet at the Lassen Invitational in Susanville, the team showed off their abilities and for the most part, they did not disappoint. Once again, Stuller paced the 49ers with a remarkable sixth place finish in the 4.1-mile course with a time of 23:58. Following behind Stuller were Jake Rydman, who placed eleventh in 27:07 and Walter Sampley, fourteenth in 28:00. In the 4.1-mile distance, Raquel Lopez, who finished in sixth place clocking in at 33:01, led the women runners. One major problem that occurred in the first meet caused some runners to place lower than they should have. Some of the women runners were supposed to race a 2.9-mile course, but a few were led on to a wrong turn, which caused a longer distance.
Marifaith Schweitzer was in third place, before she was led to the longer distance causing her to finish in tenth. Another Yuba runner,
This year’s cross country team is looking for an outstanding year and they have plenty of time. The season has just begun and there is lots of time for improvement. And coach Browning’s commitment to this team is an added plus. Although Coach Browning was not available for comment concerning the team, they do seem to be going in the right direction.