Craig Ingram of Moorpark College was the lone victor from the Valley area Saturday at the California Community College State Championships at Mount San Antonio College.
Ingram, a former standout at Granada Hills High, won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a personal best effort of 9:17.89.
Ingram out-sprinted Jim Bloomer of City College of San Francisco in the final 100 meters to win going away.
Carlos Navarro of L.A. Trade Tech led the race for the first 1,600 meters before Yehuda Tzadok of Santa Monica took over the lead. Ingram, who had finished fourth in the Southern California Championships, ran just off the lead in third place.
With 800 meters remaining, Ingram sensed that the pace was lagging, and he moved into the lead with Bloomer right by his side.
The two of them raced down the final backstretch, stride for stride, before Ingram began to pull away at the final water jump. The ease with which he won led the Moorpark runner to shake his fist jubilantly in the air after clearing the final hurdle with 60 meters remaining in the race.
His time was a personal best by three seconds. Bloomer finished second in 9:20.53.
Ingram said the he wasn't surprised with his victory. "Going into the race , I felt like I had a good chance at winning. I ran much smarter this week than I did at the Southern Cals," he said.
Although he has been suffering from a severe case of shin splints the last week, Ingram said he felt good.