Glendale college's Grace Zamudio has eye on another triple crown

Having already captured three Western State Conference and Southern California championships, Grace Zamudio would next like to make a name for herself statewide.

The Glendale Community College standout distance runner will seek to complete the task when she takes to the track Friday and Saturday at the California Community College Athletic Assn. Track and Field State Championships at College of San Mateo.

The sophomore will look to close out her fabulous career at Glendale by attempting to win the 10,000-meter race Friday and the 5,000 and 1,500 on Saturday.

Zamudio comes into the meet with plenty of momentum.

"This is something I want badly and I know I'll have to work for it," said Zamudio, who won the 10,000 on May 4 at the Southern California Championships in 39 minutes 15.48 seconds at Antelope Valley College before clocking 4:40 in the 1,500 and 17:48.42 in the 5,000 on Saturday at the same site to win all three races. "It would be an honor and a great accomplishment to be able to win all three races.

"It's one race at a time, because I can't be thinking about all three races at the same time. The 10K is mostly about being an endurance race. The 1,500 is the toughest race because that requires the most speed. With the 5K, that will be my last race and I'll probably be running on adrenaline."

Glendale Coach Eddie Lopez said Zamudio is up to the herculean job at hand.

"She wants to go out there and win those three races," Lopez said. "This has all been planned ahead and I think she can hold her own.

"She's a smart runner and she knows what to do with strategy with each race."

Two other Vaqueros will compete Friday. Ana Tonga will take part in the javelin and Nick La Croix will participate in the hammer, which he captured a conference crown in at Moorpark College on April 26. La Croix had a mark of 50.28 meters to place sixth in the Southern California Championships. Tonga took seventh in the javelin at SoCal with a mark of 33.54.

On Saturday, Zamudio will be joined by Elizabeth Nelson and Lilia Asserian. Nelson clocked 4:48.44 to take fifth in the 5K on at the Southern California Championships and Asserian placed third in the 800 in 2:16.78.

The Vaqueros have four athletes in addition to La Croix from the men's team that won a conference championship for the first time since 1989 who are expected to compete Saturday. They include Issac Diosdao, Edwardo Vasquez, Quaid Vuncannon and Kurt Lutz.

At the Southern California Championships, Diosdado took third in the 5K (15:18.90). Vasquez was third in the 1,500 (4:02.32). Vuncannon had a mark of 43.90 meters in the discus to place fourth. Lutz, who won a conference title in the 5K, had a mark of 15:33.11 to place seventh at Antelope Valley College.

"We'd like to get as many top-six efforts from the men as we can so they can be All-Americans," Lopez said. "I think we have some guys who can do that."

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