Grace Zamudio leads Glendale Community College track and field to Southern California Regionals

Grace Zamudio likely won't have any trouble getting motivated with another trip to the California Community College Track and Field Championships at stake.

Zamudio will lead a group of Vaqueros scheduled to compete in the Southern California Championship on Saturday at Antelope Valley College. The field events begin at 11 a.m., followed by the running events at 1 p.m.

Zamudio, who has already advanced to the state meet in the 10,000 on Saturday after clocking 39 minutes 15.48 seconds for a victory at the Southern California Regionals prelims at Antelope Valley College, will attempt to win the 1,500- and 5,000-meter races Saturday.

"We are going to try to do everything to get a triple of first-place finishes out of her," Glendale Coach Eddie Lopez said. "It's going to require some luck, but she has the skill to get it done, especially with the way she's been going lately.

"We feel like she's got it in her to get the job done."

Zamudio earlier won Western State Conference championships in all three events. She set a school-record in the 1,500 in 4:28.86 on April 26 at Moorpark College.

Joining Zamudio will be Kelly Castillo in the 3,000 steeplechase, Charlene Quintanilla in the 5,000, Elizabeth Nelson in the 1,500, Lilia Asserian in the 800 and Ana Tonga in the javelin.

"When you get to a meet like this one, you know you are going up against so many great athletes," Lopez said. "We are going to try for the women to get at least a top three finish.

"We've been at least a top five team each of the last four years. Right now, we are healthy and confident."

On the men's side, eight Vaqueros will compete Saturday. Leading the way is Nick La Croix, who will take part in the hammer and shot put after winning conference championships in each event.

La Croix will be joined by Edwardo Vasquez in the 1,500, Jason Ahn in the javelin, Quaid Vuncannon in the discus and Kurt Lutz, Mizrael Mendez, Isaac Diosdado and Enrique Ramirez in the 5,000. Lutz won a conference championship in the 5,000.

Lopez said the men's team has some athletes capable of qualifying for the state meet, which will take place May 17-18 at College of San Mateo.

"We think Nick and Quaid definitely have a chance to get to state," Lopez said. "We would like to get at least six qualifiers from the men to get to state.

"It's exciting for them to have gotten this far and all of them looking to extend their seasons."

The top four, plus the fifth fastest time between the Southern California and Northern California regionals, automatically advance to the state meet in the 100, 200, 400, 800, both hurdles and relays. The top six finishers in the steeplechase, 5,000, 10,000 and all field events from both regions also move on to the state meet.

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