Cross Country Takes 2nd, 3rd at Classic

Chantal Bevard, Staff Writer

The Vaquero’s proved that extreme heat wasn’t a problem for them at the Orange Coast Classic cross country SoCal preview meet at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa. The women’s team took second place while the men’s team took third place.

As temperatures rose to the mid 90s, the Lady Vaqueros came in second place with 74 points. Orange Coast was able to secure the win with 56 points and Moorpark came in third with 96 points.

Grace Graham-Zamudio finished first with a time of 18:38, an impressive 30 seconds before the second place runner, Nohemi Martinez came in sixth with a time of 19:20 and Lizette Gonzalez came in eleventh with a time of 19:35.

“I’m really excited about our team because we’ve been moving up and progressing every week,” said Graham-Zamudio, 19.

The men’s team took third place with 96 points, while American River came in first with 24 points and Cerritos came in second with 72 points.

The top runner for the men’s team, team captain Isaac Diosdado, came in eleventh place with a time of 21:14. Kurt Lutz came in fifteenth with a time of 21:20 and Vladimir Diaz came in nineteenth with a time of 21:26.

The men’s overall fastest time was 20:38 run by Munir Kahssay from Cerritos College.

Diosdado kept his focus throughout the race, despite the heat and tough competition.

“I basically looked at my team and just tried to keep my team together. We are really team oriented,” said Diosdado.

“I hope for the team to place top three in state, you know we really have a good chance.”

Head coach Eddie Lopez was proud of his runners after all the races were completed.

“We were close to Orange Coast, considering this is their home course, it gives them an advantage,” said Lopez.

“I’m very confident in our team. The most important thing in our team is the group, support, cooperation, community and they’re good. It’s easy to coach them, a blessing to coach them.”

Lopez is confident on his teams’ goals for the season. “We’re shooting to win conference, WSC conference, which we’ve won for the women the last 8 years, the guys the last 4 years,” said Lopez.

Fortunately, the heat was not a health concern for the Vaqueros, although Graham-Zamudio, Diosdado and Lopez all agreed that the heat was the most difficult part of the race.

“We were prepared for the heat. No one passed out, we were hydrated,” said Lopez.

However the heat did affect other teams and runners. Eight runners were treated for minor heat-related injuries, according to Capt. Chip Dill of the Costa Mesa Fire Department. Six of the patients were transported to local hospitals.

The men’s team came in second place at the Fresno Invitational on Sept. 8, while the Lady Vaquero’s came in third place.

The next cross country competition is the Golden West Invitational in Huntington Beach on Friday at 10:45 a.m.