GCC win is par for course

WOODLAND HILLS — A change in terrain is apparently no big deal for the Glendale Community College men’s and women’s cross-country teams.

Six days after running well on the flat-as-a-board course at Legg Lake in El Monte in the Foothill Invitational, the Vaqueros conquered the peaks and valleys of the course at L.A. Pierce College on Friday afternoon, sweeping the Western State Conference Preview meet and boasting the second-place overall finisher in both races.

“It was a good effort by both teams,” said Glendale Coach Eddie Lopez, who led both Vaqueros teams to WSC titles last season. “We’re doing well defending our championships.”

Nina Moore paced the women in 18 minutes 42.68 seconds in the 5K race, finishing 27.16 seconds behind winner Kelly Barmann (18:15.52) of Cuesta College, and led the way for a winning team score of 24 points in a team time of 1:37:13.49. Santa Barbara College finished second, but really wasn’t close with 110 points.

The men compiled a score of 33 in 1:49:44.72 in their four-mile race, led by Frankie Quijada, who was second in 21:36.82, just 6.28 seconds behind winner Mark Moreno of Santa Barbara. The Vaqueros edged second-place Ventura College by 41 points.

“We ran well and we’re still getting better,” Lopez said of his women’s team. “It’s a tough course, this is a real cross-country course. Plus, with the workouts that we’re doing, we’re right where we want to be. We’re doing well.”

The key to the Vaqueros dominant win on the women’s side was the third- and fourth-place finishes of Rosa Del Toro (18:50.28) and Karen Rosas (19:30.89).

Angelina Gonzalez was sixth for Glendale in 19:56.69 and teammate Catlin Kelly notched a ninth-place finish in 20:12.95.

Brianna Jauregui, who won the Foothill invitational, finished 11th in 20:29.06 while battling illness.

“We know [Moore’s] gonna be tough, I’m just a little worried about Brianna,” Lopez said. “I’m not sure what’s wrong with her.”

On the men’s side, Quijada was backed by Francis Herrera (21:51.39) in fourth, Jonathan Alpizar (21:59.68) and Adrian Anderson (22:04.46) in seventh and eighth and Rico Gutierrez (22:12.37) and Matan Mayer (22:13.46) in 11th and 12th.

“It would have been nice to go 1-2, maybe later on when we rest them more, but still, 33 is not bad. That was a hard 33,” Lopez said. “Our guys were moving up and then they would slow down and another guy would move up. They ran well as a team.”

Next up for Glendale is the Southern California Championship Preview meet at Mount San Antonio College, another hilly course, at 10 a.m. on Friday.

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