NORWALK — Cecilia Nicolas hoped to break the Glendale Community College women's track and field record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, but winning was the only thing on her mind in the middle of the race.
Nicolas hit both marks, as she took first and bested the previous record by about four seconds with a time of 11 minutes 06.26 seconds Saturday in the 2012 California Community College Athletic Assn. Track and Field Championships at Cerritos College.
"I wanted to break the school record, but at the same time, I wasn't worried about the time, just go and push to the end," Nicolas said. "I started feeling heavy, but I heard my family and friends. I had all these people that believed in me and I couldn't let them down."
The sophomore made her move from the middle to the front of the pack halfway through the race.
"It was a great race, she ran hard and she ran smart," said Glendale Community College Coach Eddie Lopez, whose women's team was in third place with 47 points behind Laney (72) and Cerritos (50) in the team standings as of press deadline with the chance to drop to fourth with one race remaining. "She always does."
Southwestern's Ayded Reyes, who came in as the top seed with a seed time of 11:03.25, attempted to overtake Nicolas with two laps to go, but had too much ground to make up, as she settled for second (11:08.43).
"I heard [the announcer say Reyes was making a push] and I thought, 'No, no, no, she's not taking this from me,'" said Nicolas, who saw fellow Vaquero Angela Martinez take third in 11:19.76. "I was just thinking, 'Go for it. I worked so hard for this, don't let anyone else take it away from you.'"
All in all, the Vaqueros produced seven All-Americans Saturday, as top-six finishers earn the honor, to give them nine in the two-day meet, as Grace Zamudio and Nohemi Martinez took third (38:27.21) and fourth (38:29.16), respectively, in the 10K Friday.
Glendale was best represented in the 5K run Saturday, as four Vaqueros competed in the event.
Zamudio made her push into first place with four laps to go in the 5K, but the lead was short lived, as Cuesta's Devon Kelsey (18:07.15) kicked into first and never looked back with three-and-a-half laps remaining, as Zamudio took second (18:12.23) for the Vaqueros, who had Nohemi Martinez take sixth (18:21.41), Angela Martinez finish eighth (18:23.57) and Nicolas come in 11th (18:36.38).
"[Kelsey] was the clear winner and I knew going in she had it because it's her event," said Zamudio. "I figured just going with her early would be best. … I am really happy with how I did today."
Glendale's Vladimir Diaz, the men's lone representative at State, took fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:34.60.
Alyssa Selve and Lilia Asserian just earned All-American status with each taking sixth-place in the 1,500 (4:47.90) and 800 (2:15.73), respectively.
GCC's Justice Shank took seventh in the high jump (5 feet 3 inches), which tied Moorpark's Kayla Lindquist, Cuyamaca's Jacy Epperson and Shasta College's Abbrieanna Reyna for the sixth-best mark.