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CSU Police Dominate in the Desert

The SDSU Police Department participated in a 120 mile-long race, placing first in their division.
CSU Northridge Detective Mark Benavidez hands off the baton to runner David Olivares, a parking officer from CSU Long Beach.
CSU Northridge Detective Mark Benavidez hands off the baton to runner David Olivares, a parking officer from CSU Long Beach.

Every spring, law enforcement officers from around the world compete in Baker to Vegas, the “largest police foot pursuit in the world.” It's a grueling 120 mile relay race that begins in Baker, California and ends in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year, the CSU Police team took top honors.

CSU domination

The CSU team won the “500 Invitational” division in the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay April 13-14 — their second win in four years.

The team’s 24 runners and 20 support staff hailed from CSU Channel Islands, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, San Bernardino, San Diego and San Luis Obispo.

SDSU participants:

  • Sgt. Ron Broussard — Runner
  • Cpl. Mark Peterson — Runner
  • Ofc. Kenny Gray — Runner
  • Capt. Lamine Secka — Runner
  • CSO Hunter Price — Runner
  • CSO Josh Poe — Runner
  • CSO Kayla Luna — Alternate
  • CSO Matt Anderson — Follow Vehicle
  • CSO Lisa Argo — Command Post
  • Dispatcher Lucy Palatian — Command Post
  • Sgt. Mike O'Deane — Follow Vehicle

About the race

The race is broken into 20 legs and runners may experience temperatures ranging from 120 degrees during the day, to sub-freezing temperatures at night, making it truly an extreme challenge.

Support staff play an important role, providing communication support and monitor the runners for injuries or heat- related illnesses.

About the CSU team

The CSU running team was founded in 1998 by CSU Fullerton Sergeant Jess Lopez and CSU Northridge Sergeant Mark Benevidez has served as team captain for five years.

Team runner assignments are open to sworn and civilian CSU police employees, and support staff open to CSU staff and officer family members.

The around-the-clock tread through the desert started in 1985 and has grown to involve more than 6,000 competitors and thousands of support staff from local, state, federal and international police agencies.

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