Expectations were high for the Glendale Community College women’s and men’s cross-country teams entering the Southern California Championships on Friday.
Fresh off winning Western State Conference titles on Oct. 19, the Vaqueros looked to win Southern California crowns and give them additional conference heading into the state meet Nov. 17.
Glendale’s bid to win Southern California crowns were derailed after the women’s team took third and the men placed fourth at Don Knabe Regional Park in Cerritos.
Ranked No. 1 in Southern California and in the stats, Glendale’s women’s team finished with 122 points on the 5-kilometer course. L.A. Harbor took first with 53 points, followed by Mount San Antoino with 110.
The Glendale men’s squad, ranked third in Southern California and fourth in the state, collected 140 points on the four-mile course. Mt. San Antonio was first with 59 points, followed by El Camino (97) and San Diego Mesa (109).
In the women’s portion of the meet, Glendale, which took fourth in Southern California last season, had its five runners finish in the top 40 on Friday.
The Vaqueros were led by Noemi Apreza, who took 10th in a personal-best mark of 18 minutes, 16.7 seconds. Also scoring for the Vaqueros were Jennifer Perez-Cazarez (16th, 18:39.2), Daisy Romero (22nd, 18:55.5), Eileen Silva (35th, 19:33.1) and Jazmin Negro (39th, 19:40).
“Getting a top-three mark is good,” Glendale coach Eddie Lopez said. “I just don’t think they were ready to run mentally. Physically, we were ready.
“It’s going to be up to them [to do better] at state.”
Brenda Rosales-Coria of Harbor won the race in 17:15.1 and Moorpark’s Samantha Barrajas was second in 17:26.8.
On the men’s side, all five Glendale athletes finished in the top 40 with personal-best efforts.
Marcelo Ramirez finished fifth in 19:42 for Glendale. Also scoring for teh Vaqueros were Akol Malong (23rd, 20:13.2), Alberto Serrano (35th, 20:22.4), Antonio Arroyo (37th, 20:26.5) and Moses Merino (40th, 20:28.5).
“Our guys were ready to race with all of the personal-best times,” Lopez said. “We had an average time of 20:14, and that’s very good.
“It’s good to see them doing well. It will be time for them to get even at state.”
The Vaqueros finished fifth in Southern California in 2017.
Mt. San Antonio’s Salvador Capetillo was first in 19:01.3 and was followed by Carson Bix of El Camino in 19:40.3.