Vaqueros go the distance

GLENDALE — This is the first of eight consecutive editions in which the News-Press looks back at the area's 2009-10 seasons, school by school, before looking ahead at the year to come.

The 2009-10 season began with a return to state preeminence in the fall for the Vaqueros women's cross-country team, accompanied by one of the strongest seasons in recent years for Glendale college's men's cross-country program.

In the spring, it was many of the same athletes from those two teams realizing Western State Conference and state glory as part of two successful track and field programs.

Simultaneous to and between those considerable achievements, numerous teams bearing the Vaqueros colors gave their all on the courts, courses and fields of play, with some doing well and others struggling.

Whether it was a thrilling buzzer-beater finish, a walk-off hit or a rousing rally against the odds, the year that was for Glendale college was anything but uneventful.

Here's a recap of those events and some others that involved Glendale college sports from the past year:

Aug. 28, 2009 — The women's volleyball team kicks off its season by splitting a pair of matches in the Pasadena City College Tournament. The team gets 45 assists from setter Alyssa Rosca to pick up a five-game win against Riverside Community College.

Sept. 1, 2009 — Glendale college's men's soccer team begins with a 2-2 nonconference tie against host L.A. Harbor College.

Earlier, the women's soccer team suffers a 1-0 loss to L.A. Harbor College.

Sept. 5, 2009 — The football team opens its season with a 51-29 nonconference home victory against West Los Angeles College. Quarterback Steve Miller completes 16 of 21 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Jorge Chaidez rushes for 127 yards in 15 carries and one touchdown. Brian Williams catches a team-high four passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns to ignite the Vaqueros, who get a team-best seven tackles from Rene Howard.

The reloaded women's cross-country team, runner-up in state the previous season, places third in the Fullerton Invitational without Katie Dunn, the reigning WSC Athlete of the Year. Freshmen Brianna Jauregui and Nina Moore turn in top-10 efforts.

Sept. 12, 2009 — Kalii Robinson breaks up a pass on fourth down in the final minute to stop an East L.A. College comeback and salvage a 33-28 win for the football team in the second game of the season. Chaidez rushes for 214 yards and a touchdown in 29 carries in the win.

"We let them get two touchdowns and our backs were against the wall," Robinson said. "We just had to come out and play as a team. If we didn't, the scoreboard would have been way different and we would be 1-1."

The reigning Western State Conference champion men's and women's cross-country teams both finish second at the Fresno Invitational.

Moore leads the women with a first-place finish and Frankie Quijada finishes seventh overall for the men.

Sept. 19, 2009 — Both cross-country teams make a huge statement with wins in the Cuesta Invitational at Fairbanks Park, site of the conference finals.

Led by Moore's second-place effort, the women land four runners in the top five, while the men land five runners in the top 10, led by Quijada's fifth-place showing.

In football, the defense keys a big 10-7 win over Riverside College to help the squad improve to 3-0. Robinson and Joey Orlandini both force critical turnovers in the final period.

Sept. 21, 2009 — The women's golf team opens WSC play with a fourth-place finish among five teams at the River Course at the Alisal in Solvang.

Sept. 26, 2009 — Orange Coast College hands the football team its first loss of the season, 10-6.

Oct. 3, 2009 — Strong seasons for the men's and women's cross-country teams roll on, with the women winning and the men taking second at the Foothill Invitational.

Jauregui, Rosa Del Toro and Moore finish 1-2-3 and Quijada is sixth.

Oct. 9, 2010 — Moore and Quijada both finish second to lead the women's and men's cross-country teams to a sweep in the WSC Preview meet.

"It was a good effort by both teams," men's and women's Coach Eddie Lopez said. "We're doing well defending our [conference] championships."

Oct. 16, 2010 — Behind a 1-2 finish from Moore and Del Toro, the women's cross-country team wins the Southern California Preview meet at Mount San Antonio College, while the men finish third.

"This was our best race of the year without a doubt," Lopez said. "The women ran outstanding and the men ran good, but they're better than that."

Oct. 27, 2009 — The men's and women's cross-country teams successfully defend their conference crowns at the WSC final meet at Cuesta College.

Quijada wins the men's conference championship in 21 minutes 30.50 seconds to lead the men to their second straight team title.

"I'm feeling good, it was definitely one of my goals coming into the season," Quijada said. "It was tough in the sense that it was really windy, but overall it was a nice controlled pace in the beginning. After two miles I decided to go and no one [else] went."

Moore finishes second in 18:05.60 to lead the women to a fifth straight crown.

Oct. 31, 2009 — Despite its defense putting together an outstanding season, the football team hits a low point with its fourth straight loss, 55-27, to Allan Hancock College, and third straight to open Northern Conference National Division play.

Nov. 6, 2009 — Moore claims the individual crown in a junior college course-record 17:17 and leads the women's cross-country team to its fourth straight team title at the Southern California Community College Cross-Country Championships at Mount San Antonio College.

"I heard my coach say, 'You have to go in the last 100, you have to kick,'" Moore said. "I was totally determined to win."

The men's team also moves on to the state meet with a third-place finish, led by Quijada's fifth-place showing.

In it's season opener, the men's' basketball team wins the opening game of the Vaquero Tip-Off Classic, 77-62, over Victor Valley College behind 17 points and 13 rebounds from Deonte Wyatt.

The next day, the Vaqueros would win the tournament with a 62-60 win over Miramar College on two free throws by Wyatt with 14.5 seconds left.

"We still have things defensively that we need to take care of," Wyatt said, "but there's a lot a camaraderie on the team and guys don't quit, so I like it."

Nov. 7, 2009 — Behind 258 rushing yards from Willie Youngblood, a pair of touchdown passes from Miller and two defensive touchdowns, the football team rights the ship to notch a 41-27 conference victory over Moorpark at Sartoris Field.

"It feels great," Youngblood said. "We've had a couple ups and downs and some games we know we could have won. We were going through the emotions, but we just came together and stuck together as a team, as a family."

Nov. 13, 2009 — The women's volleyball team defeats Citrus College, 25-17, 25-16, 25-19 in its season finale and finishes the season at 12-10 and 8-4 in the WSC South Division for third place.

Both the men's and women's soccer teams wrap up their seasons with WSC South Division home matches at Sartoris Field.

The men finish 5-14-2 and 3-10-1 in conference, while the women wind up 6-8-6 and 4-6-4.

First-team selection Elena Torres leads a group of five Vaqueros later named to the all-conference team for the women and first-teamer Geoff Pogue led a quartet of men's soccer players named all-conference.

Nov. 14, 2009 — The football team concludes its season with a 38-22 loss to Pasadena City College to wind up at 4-6 and 1-5 in conference.

"We improved from last year, we were in games that last year we were not in," Coach John Rome said. "We still have a ways to go before we can compete with the big boys in this conference, but I see improvement and I'm not disappointed at all, in fact, I'm encouraged."

A total of eight Vaqueros, led by first-team defensive end selection Jesse Halberstadt, are later named to the All-Northern Conference team.

Nov. 20, 2009 — The women's basketball team opens the season with a 55-51 win over El Camino Community College in the Vaquero Shootout.

Chelsea Baqueiro scores 16 points.

Nov. 21, 2009 — In a junior college course-record team time of 92:18, the women's' cross-country team reclaims the state title at the California Community College Cross Country Championship at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Moore wins the individual state crown in 17:48 and Del Toro places second overall.

"We ran an outstanding race," said Lopez, who led the women's team to it's second state crown in three years. "To get our top-seven in the top 24, it was a good race for us. That was the plan. ...It was a total team effort, I'm real excited about that."

The men's team finishes third in state behind a sixth-place effort from Quijada in 20:22, the second-fastest time in school history for the course.

"They really ran a smart race for third place," Lopez said. "[Quijada] ran according to plan. He ran well. He was right there and he didn't force the pace. ...He's in really good company right now."

Jan. 6 — The women's basketball team opens WSC Southern Division play with a 46-41 victory over L.A. Valley College. Amanda Quesada scores 14 points and pulls down 11 rebounds.

Jan. 27 — The men's tennis team opens its season with a 7-2 nonconference home victory over Saddleback College.

Jan. 29 — The women's tennis team begins its season with a 7-2 nonconference home victory over College of the Sequoias.

In its own season opener, the softball team finishes with 13 hits en route to a 13-0 victory against College of the Desert in a pool-play contest of the Glendale College Softball Classic. Rachel Allen records a team-high three hits.

Jan. 30 — Wyatt hits a three-pointer with two minutes left to seal an 83-79 WSC Southern Division home win over L.A. Valley College for the men's basketball team.

Feb. 3 — The men's golf team begins its season by capturing the Orange Empire Tournament at Los Serranos Golf Course in Chino.

Nick Quintanilla cards a three-over-par 77 on the South Course to finish with a 146 and share medalist honors.

"They worked hard for it and we deserved to win," Coach Greg Osbourne said. "It's our first tournament win as a new program, and it means everything to the players and me."

Feb. 4 — Carlos Lopez makes a game-saving catch in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded to preserve an 8-7 win over host Mt. SAC for the baseball team in its season opener.

Feb. 16 — In its WSC opener, the men's tennis team falls to Santa Barbara City College, 7-2.

Feb. 20 — The men's and women's basketball teams close out the season with conference games at Bakersfield College.

The women's team ekes out a 50-49 victory to finish the year at 12-15 and 5-7 in conference.

The men lose, 100-89, to finish at 14-14 and 5-7.

March 4 — The softball team opens WSC Southern Division play with an 8-6 victory over Bakersfield College.

Brittni Spear drives in three runs and Jennifer Meza gets the win.

March 8 — The baseball team wins its WSC Southern Division opener, 4-0, over Bakersfield College at Stengel Field.

March 19 — Del Toro wins the 800 meters, the 1,500 and the 3,000 to lead the women's track and field team in the WSC North/South Meet at Moorpark College.

March 25 —Toshiteru Fujisaku hits a pair of three-run home runs and drives in seven runs to carry the baseball team to a 13-6 conference victory against College of the Canyons.

"I was focused and relaxed," Fujisaku said. "I also knew that I had to stay patient. I knew both balls that I hit were home runs."

March 30 — Del Toro, Samantha Bogatz, Diana Sanchez and Moore set a new school record of 12:10.39 in the women's 4,000-meter distance medley at the Riverside Community College Open.

April 6 — The men's tennis team closes out its season with a 7-2 home conference win over Bakersfield College to finish at 6-11 and 3-5 in conference.

Meanwhile, the women's team ends its season with a 6-3 loss at Bakersfield College to finish at 4-11 and 2-8.

April 12 — The women's track and field team finishes second and the men take fourth at the WSC Coastal/Inland meet.

April 17 — Two days after wrapping up conference play with a loss to College of the Canyons to finish 8-10, the softball team splits a nonconference doubleheader with San Diego Mesa College to finish the season at 16-21 overall.

April 26 — With a team score of 773, the men's golf team places fourth at the WSC championship at Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo.

Brennan Amirkhizi shoots a two-round score of even-par 142 to finish second overall and Quintanilla has a 147 to finish tied for fourth. The two freshmen also secure all-conference accolades and earn a trip to the Southern California Regionals.

"I feel bad that we weren't as a team moving on," Osbourne said, "but we were able to stay competitive throughout the year."

April 29 — The women's doubles team of Sarah Aguilar and Mineli Ebrahimi are eliminated in the second round of the Southern California Regionals at Long Beach City College.

"Palomar played great and we played well," Coach Bob Donaghy said. "Palomar just didn't make any mistakes and it just wasn't meant to be for Sarah and Mineli."

The baseball team closes out its season with a 5-3 conference road loss to L.A. Pierce College to finish at 15-21 and 7-14 in conference.

Later, six Vaqueros are named all-conference, including first-team pitcher Richie Valenzuela.

April 30 — Bogatz captures conference titles in the 100 and 200 to lead the women's track and field team to a second-place finish in the WSC finals at Moorpark College.

The men's team finishes ninth behind a second-place finish from Jonathan Alpizar in the steeplechase.

In the quarterfinals of Southern California Regionals at Cal State Northridge, the men's tennis doubles teams of Emanuel Haug and Joey Tresierras and Dinusha Wijesuriya and Paul Nagapetyan fall short of qualifying for the state playoffs with losses in the Round of 16.

"We had chances to win both matches, but they both were up against some talented teams," Coach Bob MacKay said. "That's the kind of good talent you face at this stage."

Haug and Tresierras later earn first-team all-conference honors to lead six men's players named to the team.

May 10 — Amirkhizi cards a two-round score of 152 to place 26th and Quintanilla finishes with a 157 for 49th at the Southern California Regionals at the SCGA Course in Murrieta. Both fall short in their bid to make the state tournament.

May 15 — Bogatz adds Southern California titles in the 100 and 200 to her collection and is one of nine women's track and field athletes to qualify for the state championships at the Southern California Championships at Saddleback College.

Alpizar and Quijada advance from the men's side.

May 22 — The women's track and field team's fifth-place finish at the California Community College Athletic Assn. Track and Field State Championships at Antelope Valley College is highlighted by an upset state title win for De Toro in the 1,500 in 4:43.88.

Del Toro, Bogatz, Moore, Karen Rosas, Angie Gonzalez and Vivian Ochoa garner All-American notice with top six finishes, as does Alpizar (fifth in the steeplechase) for the men.

"This is the best we've ever done at Glendale," Lopez said. "We did better than we did at SoCal, that tells you that we came to compete, so I'm happy."

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