The Vaqueros sat in the bus — most looked impatient while others looked drowsy, in-between naps. Sweat beads began to trickle down their faces as the sun began to heat up the crowded bus.
For more than half an hour, Glendale’s running teams were stuck in a traffic jam on the I-5 North headed toward Bakersfield.
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will. On Friday, the Vaqueros obeyed that law as the men’s and women’s teams both finished in fourth place at the WSC Inland Meet in Bakersfield College, after a variety of unexpected obstacles were thrown at them. College of the Canyons took first place.
“We didn’t have a good day, to put it simply,” said Head Coach Eddie Lopez. “After arriving to the meet late, our track teams didn’t have enough time to warm up and prepare themselves. Some of our top runners were also unable to compete because of injuries.”
The lack of a warm-up didn’t faze the Lady Vaqs during long distance races, such as the 3,000-meter run.
Cecilia Nicolas finished first in 11:02. Nohemi Martinez came in second in 11:05.34. Angela Martinez finished third in 11:05.83. Grace Zamudio took fourth in 11:06. Alyssa Selve, who returned from a stress fracture injury, finished fifth in 11:31. Charlene Quintanilla took sixth place in 11:41.
During the race, Lopez had to run across the field to the scorer’s table after noticing that the officials weren’t counting the laps correctly which would have resulted in all the competitors in having to run an extra lap.
“Although the women did very well in the long distance races, there weren’t any new personal records that were set,” said Lopez.
Lilia Asserian finished first for the Lady Vaqs in the women’s 800-meter run with a time of 2:16. Nicolas came in third in 2:22 and Martinez finished sixth with a time of 2:26.
“I’ve been getting much better,” said Asserian, 22. “I didn’t like the track, I prefer harder surfaces, but I had a good performance today.”
Dylan Bourne, a member of the men’s team, admired the Lady Vaqs’ success in their long distance races.
“The women’s team was fantastic,” said Bourne, 18. “I was impressed when Lilia was able to charge past the girls who were ahead of her because it takes a lot of energy.”
In the women’s 1,500-meter run, Zamudio finished first in 4:57. Martinez took second place in 5:01.Quintanilla came in third in. 5:05. Zulma Herrera finished fifth in 5:07 and Selve took sixth place in 5:11.
In the men’s 3,000-meter run, Vladimir Diaz finished second in 8:55. Issac Diosdado came in third with a time of 9:04 and Rico Gutierrez took fifth in 9:07.
In the 1,500-meter run, Kurt Lutz finished third 4:04.25. Alexander Nelson took fourth in 4:04.95 and Diosdado came in fifth place in 4:07.
Despite solid performances in the middle and long distance races, both teams struggled in the 4×400 relays and hurdles.
The Vaqueros also finished poorly in the field competitions except for men’s javelin as Jason Ahn finished first with a 55.02 meter throw and women’s high jump with Justice Shank taking first place with a 1.58-meter jump.
“We’ve got to keep improving,” said Lopez. “Although both teams have had good seasons so far, it’s only three weeks before the preliminaries start. We can be doing a lot better.”
The track and field teams will compete on Friday at the Orange Coast Invitational at Orange Coast College at 10 a.m.
On April 14, the Vaqueros will compete at the Mt. Sac Invitational at Mt. Sac College at 10 a.m.