Cross Country Team Runs Away With Victory

VIOLETA ARRAZOLA
El Vaquero Sports Editor

Glendale’s cross-country team proved it was among the best in the state Nov. 4 when the men captured first place and the women placed third at the Southern California Community College Championship at UC San Diego.

Luis Castaneda was the top runner for the Vaqueros on the four-mile course, which was won by Romaldo Sanchez of Los Angeles Trade Tech College (20 minutes, 41 seconds). Casteneda finished the race in fifth with a time of 21:16.

The Vaquero men had four runners finish in the top 17 which gave them a team time of 1:48.51.80 and a total of 106 points to win first place. The other runners for the Vaqueros to excel in the race were Joseph Lopez (eighth in 21:29.70), Preston Richardson (11th in 21:33.50) and Ivan Perez (17th in 21:47.30).

Head Coach Eddie Lopez credits his team with for being more focused this year. “Last season they didn’t do too well because they weren’t ready to run the miles,” said Lopez, who is in his 19th season as coach. “But now they are more prepared physically, emotionally, spiritually and everything.”

For the Vaquero women, they finished the three-mile course with a team time of 1:42:40 and a team total of 172 points.

The women champions were Orange Coast College (78 points) and Riverside Community College came in second (151 points).

Vaquero runner, Liliana Hernandez, finished in sixth place with a time of 19:35.50, next-best finisher was Vanessa Murillo who came in 28th place and finished in 20:28.50, and Ana Rodriguez was 30th with a time of 20:30.7.

The victories come nearly two weeks after the Vaqueros won yet another Western State Conference title on Oct. 24, which is the 15th in 19 years for the men and the fourth in nine years for the women.

But the Vaqueros hope that their celebration continues as they move to their most important competition of the season this Saturday: the State Championships.

GCC has won three state titles; two of them have come under coach Lopez. The last state title was won in 1998.

The State Championship will be held at Fresno’s Woodward Park and will consist of a 3.1-mile run for the women, which will begin at 10 a.m.; the men will compete on a four-mile course at 11 a.m.