The Lady Vaqueros were unfazed by frosty winds and pouring rain as the team won first place in the Southern California Cross Country Championships at Guasti Regional Park in Ontario on Friday.
The Lady Vaqs came in first place with 27 points, while Orange Coast took second with 100 points and L.A. Trade Tech took third place with 101 points.
“They absolutely dominated,” said Head Coach Eddie Lopez. “After the first 400 meters, our team took over.”
Four Lady Vaqs filled the top 10 and filled the top three as well.
Karen Rosas finished the 3-mile race in first place with a time of 17:54. Alyssa Selve finished second place with a time of 18:00.6. Angela Martinez came in third place with a time of 18:01.
“Our top three were great,” said Lopez. “I’ve never had a team with runners finishing in first, second and third place. Karen even went the wrong way for a brief moment but she ran so fast it didn’t matter.”
Grace Graham-Zamudio finished in 18:25 to take ninth place. Nohemi Martinez came in 12th place with a time of 18:37. Laura Pluemer finished in 14th place with a time of 18:39.
The men’s team came in fourth place with 157 points. San Bernardino Valley finished in first place with 68 points. L.A. Trade Tech took second place with 75 points and San Diego Mesa took third with 122 points. Daniel Herrera of Cerritos College finished in first place with a time of 19:58.
Mizrael Mendez, the top runner for Vaqueros, finished in eighth place with a time of 20:37. Isaac Diosdado finished in 23rd place with a time of 20:59. Alec Nelson came in 33rd place with a time of 21:10 and Jesus Gutierrez came in 42nd place with a
time of 21:19.
“I had a bad race,” said Mendez, 18. “I run well on flat courses like the one today but I didn’t have it in me today. I was chasing the runners in the lead but they got away from me.”
The rainy weather proved to be an obstacle as well as a welcome challenge.
“I thought running in the rain was fun,” said Nelson, 18. “There were a lot of guys slipping because of the mud in the first mile. I loved it.”
“The weather got really crazy,” said Rosas, 20, sociology. “When it seemed like it was going to stop, it got worse.”
The next challenges for the Vaqueros are the state championships in Fresno.
“The women’s team has to stay healthy and continue their preparation and they are going to try to break the team’s total time record,” said Lopez. “The men’s team is going to be facing tough competition but they are up to the challenge.”
“Today’s loss for the men’s team was a wake up call for us,” said Nelson. “We are going to bounce back from it and be ready for the championship race.”
The State Championships will take place in Woodward Park in Fresno at 10 a.m. on Nov. 19.