Chico State Wildcat Athletics Round-up

Podium Persistence

Chico State women's cross-country team celebrate a podium finish at the 2015 NCAA ChampionshipsThe Chico State women’s cross country program has had its fair share of tough and talented runners, but none has ever finished higher at the NCAA Championships than junior Sadie Gastelum did in November. 

Gastelum’s 12th-place finish propelled the Wildcats to their fourth-ever podium finish and first since 2007 on a bitterly cold morning in Joplin, Missouri. 

Gastelum was 23rd at the mile mark and 35th at the midway point of the race. But she was unruffled throughout. Once fatigue and the elements—including wind chill in the 20s—began claiming runners in front of her, the junior steadily crept up the leaderboard.

“It’s an exciting thing to weather a storm with a group of girls that you really care about,” said Gastelum, an exercise physiology major.

No Limits

Cross country and track All-American, Alia Gray, finished 10th in the 2015 US Olympic Marathon trials The day was warm, the journey ahead long—26.2 miles to be precise—and Alia Gray was about to run the US Olympic Marathon trials on a fractured fibula. 

She finished 10th. Gray ran a personal-record time of 2:35:47—four minutes faster than her previous best. 

A cross country and track All-American at Chico State, Gray (BA, Journalism, ’12) could challenge for a top-three finish and spot on the US Olympic Team in four years. Keep up with her progress via her blog:

Goal Oriented

Women's soccer teammates Pooja Patel (left) and Lindsey DiasIf Pooja Patel hadn’t won the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Soccer Player of the Year award in the fall, her teammate Lindsey Dias likely would have. The junior midfielders tied for the conference lead in points. Dias led the conference with eight goals, and Patel led the way with six assists. 

Patel is the program’s first conference player of the year since Katherine Bagwell won the award in 2007.

Patel was also picked Second Team All-America by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Dias and Patel were both First Team All-West Region. 

Dias, a nursing major, earned the prestigious National Soccer Coaches Association of America Academic All-District award with the third highest GPA among all Division I and Division II West Region athletes chosen.

’Cats Go Back-To-Back

Greg Clink yelled and screamed from the bench. He gave high fives and hugs. He lived and died with every possession. It was 1994, and Clink was a seldom-used substitute on the Chico State men’s basketball team on its way to a fourth consecutive Northern California Athletic Conference title.

He never imagined he would be back on the bench the next time the Wildcats won consecutive conference crowns, this time as the team’s eighth-year head coach.

The 2015–16 Wildcats won their second straight CCAA title and third in five years, compiling a record of 22-7, and reached the NCAA Championship Tournament for a program record fifth consecutive season. Clink was named the CCAA’s Coach of the Year and junior guard Robert Duncan, a business administration major, the CCAA Player of the Year.

Photos courtesy Chico State Athletics. For more sports coverage, visit or follow @ChicoWildcats on Twitter.