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Glendale Community College Cross-Country Preview: Vaqueros look to reach multiple summits

Glendale Community College Cross-Country Preview: Vaqueros look to reach multiple summits
Members of the Glendale Community College women's cross-country team go through a workout at Sartoris Field. (Tim Berger | Staff Photographer)

In the last several seasons, the Glendale Community College women’s and men’s cross-country teams have achieved a wealth of success.

Last season didn’t quite go according to plan for the Vaqueros, though.

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The women’s team hit a bump on the course, finishing fifth at the California Community College Athletic Assn. State Cross-Country Finals at Fresno’s Woodward Park. It ended the Vaqueros run of two straight state championships. They did win their 13th consecutive Western State Conference championship, though came up short in their quest for a fourth straight Southern California crown following a fourth-place finish.

For the men’s squad, it finished sixth at state after winning a third conference title in a row and taking fifth in Southern California.

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Both teams have lofty plans in place entering the 2018 season, looking to finish at or near the top in conference, Southern California and state. Glendale will begin its season Saturday at the Mark Covert Classic at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea.

“We feel like we are going to have two very good teams and we have set our main goals already,” Glendale coach Eddie Lopez said. “We’ve added depth to both teams and they’ve been busy putting in the work in order to get back to where they want to be.

“We definitely see the possibility of good things happening. We need to stay away from injuries and that will make a big difference.”

Mount San Antonio won the women’s state championship last season. Glendale didn’t register a top-three effort in state for the first time since 2004, ending an impressive run in CCCAA history.

“We have some things to take care of before state,” Lopez said. “The first goal is to win conference again and then try to win So Cal.

“For state, we’d like to have our top five runners turning in times of under 19 minutes. If we can do that, then we have a great shot. There’s going to be a lot of good teams out there, starting with Mt. SAC and some teams from Northern California.”

Glendale will rely on sophomores Jenny Perez, Daisy Romero, Genesis Siam, Jazmin Negro and Rosalina Castro and freshmen Noemi Apreza and Phoebe Forsyth. Apreza and Forsyth attended Burbank High.

“There’s a lot of potential, no doubt,” Lopez said.

There’s also plenty of talent on the men’s team, beginning with the 1-2 punch of sophomores Carlos Rivera and Marcelo Ramirez. They will be joined by sophomores Antonio Arroyo, Akol Malong, Oscar Ulloa and Alberto Vazquez. A group of freshmen will look to possibly crack the lineup in Spencer Geck (Crescenta Valley), Albert Serrano and Kevin Keller.

“We will have plenty of depth, probably the most we’ve had in a while,” Lopez said. “They want to compete and they are mentally tough.

“I think we have a great shot at winning conference and getting top-three finishes in Southern California and state. We just want to be peaking at the right time.”

Mt. SAC captured the men’s state title last season.

The conference championships will be held Oct. 20, followed by the Southern California Championships on Nov. 2 and state on Nov. 17.

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