It appears that Central Park in Santa Clarita is fast becoming a second home for the Glendale Community College cross-country program.
For a second straight week, the Vaqueros trekked northwest, this time to participate in the Mustang Challenge, where the men’s program took second and the women claimed fifth.
“It was just a great day all-around for personal records. Jorge Serrano had a PR, Edwardo Vasquez has a PR, Alejandro Chavez had a PR and I had a PR,” Vaqueros sophomore Enrique Ramirez said. “It was great overcast weather and I can’t lie, we wanted to impress some university coaches who were here.”
The Mustang Challenge featured a mesh of community colleges and universities as was evidenced by the score, as the Vaqueros men were the top two-year college in the open four-mile race and finished second overall to Division II Cal State San Marcos, 55-86, while The Master’s College was third with 87 points.
Ramirez was Glendale’s top placer, taking sixth in 25 minutes and 18 seconds. The Vaqueros posted two additional top-30 finishers in Steban Aviles (22nd, 26:12) and Hoover High alumnus Daniel Marin (23rd, 26:13), while Serrano was 32nd (26:26) and Vasquez was 43rd (26:41).
As for the ladies, the Vaqueros finished fifth with 179 points in a race won by San Marcos (31 points). Like their male teammates, GCC was the top junior college finisher among women.
Sophomore Elizabeth Nelson paced Glendale by taking 16th in 18:53, while Providence High product Kelly Castillo was the Vaqueros’ next fastest placer, earning 35th in 19:29. Former Arcadia High standout Glindyll Mancia was Glendale’s No. 3 runner in finishing 37th (19:32).
“Sometimes it’s easy to just look at your times and results against the junior colleges and go with that,” Nelson said. “But then you stop and think that if you want to transfer and compete at the next level, you have to compete against the university runners, too.”
Saturday’s challenge marked the second consecutive weekend Glendale was at Central Park, as the Vaqueros competed in last week’s Southern California Preview.
Initially, Glendale was supposed to have raced in the Orange Coast Classic at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa. However, the meet was canceled due to permit issues.
Glendale will return one final time to Central Park for the Southern California Championships on Nov. 8.