Men's Cross Country/Track Announces Incoming Recruits

Robert Radnoti

May 19, 2014

MALIBU, Calif. - Pepperdine cross country and track coach Robert Radnoti announced his incoming men's recruits today and called it the best haul of men's runners that he's had in his time coaching the Waves.

In the fall, the Waves will add six freshmen: Kyle Cajero (Tucson, Ariz./Pusch Ridge Christian Academy), Dan Chiriaev (Campbell, Calif./Prospect HS), Rudy Gonzalez (Whittier, Calif./California HS), Kevin Maeda (Highland, Calif./Citrus Valley HS), Matt Okabayashi (Long Beach, Calif./Poly HS) and Nicholas Serrao (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Dana Hills HS).

"In my eight years here, this is the best men's recruiting class that we've had," Radnoti said. "I am so excited about our team for next year and especially how they will develop over the next four years. We will be very young next year, but our guys will push each other to represent Pepperdine with purpose. All of these young mane are near-4.0 students with high test scores. I can hardly wait for our team to arrive for preseason camp on August 13."

The Waves have nine of last year's 11 men's runners returning to Pepperdine in the fall, including six of the seven that ran at the West Coast Conference Championships.

Here's a look at each of Pepperdine's newcomers:

Kyle Cajero (Tucson, Ariz./Pusch Ridge Christian Academy)
A highly decorated runner in Arizona who competed in four years of cross country and four years of track ... Was the Division IV state champion and the Tucson Citizen's Division IV Runner of the Year as a junior in cross country ... Earned Arizona Daily Star all-city honors all four years in cross country, including the first team as a junior and second team as a senior ... In track, set school records in the 800 and 1,600 meters ... Won the 800 and placed second in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the 2014 state meet ... Helped Pusch Ridge to second-place state finishes as a junior in cross country and a senior in track.



Dan Chiriaev (Campbell, Calif./Prospect HS)
A four-time team MVP in cross country who placed second in the Blossom Valley Athletic League meet and ranked among the top 30 runners in the Central Coast Section as a senior ... Ran at the California state cross country meet as a sophomore and junior ... Also a four-year runner in track who was ranked among the top 10 athletes in the Central Coast Section in the 1,600 meters ... He was also ranked among the top 100 1,600-meter runners in the nation (and at one point was in the top 30).

Rudy Gonzalez (Whittier, Calif./California HS)
Helped California High to a second-place finish at the 2012 state cross country meet ... A three-year varsity member of both the cross country and track teams ... Qualified for the CIF Finals in cross country as a senior ... Ran on the winning 4x1,600-meter team at the Mt. SAC Relays in 2014 and set a school record.

Kevin Maeda (Highland, Calif./Citrus Valley HS)
Earned All-Mountain Valley League second team honors and was the school's Runner of the Year in cross country as a senior ... Ran three years of varsity cross country and two years of track ... Also earned leadership and attitude awards from the team in cross country ... Earned valedictorian honors.

Matt Okabayashi (Long Beach, Calif./ Poly HS)
A late-comer to the sport who ran varsity cross country and track only as a senior ... Also competed on the junior varsity cross country team for two seasons.

Nicholas Serrao (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Dana Hills HS)
Ran cross country on two South Coast League champion teams and competed at the California state meet as a junior ... Also won a league title in track as a senior ... Ran varsity two years of each sport ... A team captain in both.

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