Vaqueros women, men run to WSC Preview wins

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Katie Dunn was not in the greatest mindset for racing Friday afternoon.

Despite the fact that Glendale Community College was hosting a race at Verdugo Park for the first time in roughly four decades, the Vaqueros freshman and her team run the course on average of twice a week.

“I wasn’t really in the mood to race,” she said. “I’m not in love with this course.”

But fortunately for the Vaqueros, Dunn is one of the top women’s junior college cross-country runners in the state. It was evidenced by her dominating performance, as she ran to victory in the women’s 5K run of the Western State Conference Preview in 19 minutes 3.46 seconds, leading Glendale college to an easy victory with 18 points to second-place Bakersfield College’s 114.

“When you get on that line, you know you’re competitive and you’re not gonna mess around in a race,” said Dunn of her outlook despite not being in the greatest mood to race. “I still push myself, that’s just my competitive side.”

The Vaqueros men’s team made it a clean sweep, running to a first-place team score of 48 to second-place Cuesta College’s 85 in the men’s 6K. Glendale college was led by Crescenta Valley High graduate Nathan Sellers, who took fourth in 21:12.69.

“We’re getting better and it’s a very strong team,” said GCC Coach Eddie Lopez of his men’s squad. “Nate’s a very good leader.”

But it was Dunn who stole the show on Friday, as her time was more than 30 seconds better than teammate Justina Sadauskaite (second, 19:41.92).

The duo led a GCC contingent that took five of the top six spots in the race.

“Our team did really [well],” Dunn said. “We just gotta run closer together.”

Brigette Fernandez (fourth, 20:05.12), Angelina Gonzalez (fifth, 20:25.87) and Rosa Del Toro (20:38.34) rounded out an excellent performance for a team that seems poised to win a third straight conference title and contend for a second consecutive state crown.

“We’re still developing. ...We’re getting in better shape,” Lopez said. “It’s our home course, so they ran better.”

On the men’s side, the Vaqueros’ top five finished in the top-16. Adrian Anderson was seventh in 21:39.73, followed by Jonathan Alpizar (ninth, 21:50.16), Francisco Quijado (12th, 22:02.65) and Manuel Blanco (16th, 22:20.43).

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