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Friday, December 14, 2018

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SDSU Police Compete in the Desert

The SDSU Police Department participated in a 120 mile-long race, placing third in their division.

The 2014 California State University Police Running Team ran circles around most of their competition in the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, placing third in their division and beating last year’s overall time by almost 30 minutes. 

Every spring, law enforcement officers from around the world compete in Baker to Vegas, the “largest police foot pursuit in the world.” The grueling 120-mile relay race begins in Baker, Calif., and ends in Las Vegas.

This marks the second year in a row that the team has finished on the podium, including last year’s first place finish.

CSU participation

The team competes in the “500 Invitational” division and raced over the weekend of March 22-23.  They finished in 16 hours, 11 minutes, 24 seconds, just missing a second place finish by seven minutes. 

Twenty-four runners and 20 support staff hailed from CSU Channel Islands, Fullerton, Los Angeles, Northridge, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego and San Luis Obispo.

SDSU participants included:

  • Cpl. Mark Peterson — alternate runner
  • Chief Lamine Secka — runner
  • CSO Alex White — runner
  • CSO Josh Poe — runner
  • CSO Jesse Vargas — runner
  • CSO Nor Alawadi — runner
  • CSO Hunter Price — runner
  • CSO Matt Anderson — follow vehicle
  • 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.

Support staff play an important role, providing communication support and monitoring of 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 is 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.