2010/JUNIOR: Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete ... Earned WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll "silver" honors ... Did not compete.
2009/SOPHOMORE: Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete ... Earned WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll "silver" honors ... Competed at four invitationals during the season's first half ... Year's fastest 8K time of 27:57.80 was recorded at the UC Irvine/Asics Invitational (9/12).
2008/FRESHMAN: Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete ... Earned WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll "silver" honors ... Competed at both the West Coast Conference (11/1) and NCAA West Regional (11/15) postseason meets ... Finished the 8K conference race at Crystal Springs in 28:44 and the 10K regional course at Stanford in 33:56.32 ... Recorded a Pepperdine No. 3 finish and was 24th overall at the Pepperdine Invitational (10/4), finishing the 8K course in 26:46.55 ... Clinched his spot at the WCC Championships by finishing fifth among all Pepperdine runners with a time of 26:28 at the Bronco Invitational (10/18) ... Made steady progress in his first season as a Wave, going from an 11th-place Pepperdine showing at the Aug. 30 season opener to a third-place Wave finish at the Pepperdine Invite on Oct 4.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated with honors from Gilroy High School, where he was a four-year letterwinner in track and cross country ... also attended Abraham Lincoln High School ... Career best marks include a 4:30 in the 1600-meter run, a 9:53 in the 3200, a 16:29 in the 5K and a 34:22 in the 10K ... Four-year scholar athlete ... Served as team captain for track and cross country during his junior and senior years ... 2008 TCAL Conference champion in the 1600 ... Recipient of the Tri-County All League Award and Gilroy High School Avis Kelley Award following his senior season ... Received first Tri-County All-League Award for cross country following junior year ... Freshman/sophomore 3200-meter TCAL Champion ... Finished fourth with the varsity boys cross country team at the 2004 BVAL League Championships ... Named to the Honor Roll and Principal's List for academic achievements.
CLUB: Part of Wolfpak since 2006 ... Competed at the Junior Elite National Championships in Colorado during the summer of 2007 ... Placed first at the Mushroom Mardi Gras 10K in Morgan Hill, Calif. ... Finished second in his age group at the Granite Bay Duathlon ... Took third in his age group at the Pacific Grove Triathlon sprint distance.
PERSONAL: Given name is Derek Anthony Pesta ... Son of Jeff and Teri Pesta ... Marketing major ...Has a sister, Courtney, and two brothers, Matt and Jeff ... Chose Pepperdine for its "excellent business program, superb athletics and an awesome location with superior facilities" ... Says his most thrilling moment in sports was "when I broke the 10-minute mark in the 3200-meter run at the Avis Kelley Invitation in the night race on my home track" ... Lists Lance Armstrong as his biggest sports hero for "his battle with cancer and overcoming it; then returning to cycling and winning the Tour de France seven times" ... Considers Diego Estrada as the toughest person he's competed against in his sport.
FAVORITES: Lists skiing, going to the beach and mountain biking among numerous hobbies outside cross country ... Loves cross country because "you can always push yourself to run faster; it's just a matter of mental determination" ... Favorite pro athlete is Lance Armstrong ... Favorite pro team is the San Francisco Giants ... Favorite book is The Great Gatsby ... Favorite movie is Collateral ... Favorite TV show is Entourage ... Favorite musical artist is Travis Barker ... Favorite food is Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken and favorite ice cream flavor is rocky road.