Jessica De La Cerda


SPORT: Cross-country

YEAR: Senior


LAST YEAR AT A GLANCE: De La Cerda placed 31st in last year’s Southern Section Division I cross-country championships. In track, she timed 2 minutes 19.3 in the 800 meters and finished fifth in that event in the Southern Section Division I final.

WEEK AT A GLANCE: De La Cerda stamped herself as a force to be reckoned with Saturday when she won the Seaside Invitational at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura. Her time of 17:23 over the three-mile course bettered the performance of highly touted Molly Mehlberg of Peninsula (17:27) and Gabriela Rodriguez of Oxnard (17:57). Mehlberg placed third in last year’s state Division I cross-country championships, and Rodriguez finished third in the 3,200 meters in the state track championships in June. De La Cerda attributed her victory to a summer’s worth of training that culminated in a three-week training camp with brothers Peter and Paul in the high elevations of Alamosa, Colo. “The three weeks in Colorado really helped,” she said. “I could definitely feel the difference (on Saturday).”