By Tadzio Garcia
Johana Ceja’s outstanding individual performance placed her on the women’s all-classic team, while the men’s team finished 10th at the Golden West Central Park Classic last Saturday.
Both East Los Angeles College’s cross country teams ran short in Huntington Beach due to injuries.
“Missing were three of our top five runners from the women’s team and two of the top five from the men’s team. However, we did well competing against some of the top ranked teams in the state,” said Louis Ramirez, Husky head coach.
The men’s team ran against top ranked San Bernardino Valley College, 2nd ranked Orange Coast College, 3rd ranked Glendale Community College, Riverside City College and conference rival Mt. San Antonio College.
The women’s team competed against top-ranked Glendale, No. 2 Orange Coast, No. 5 Moorpark, Mt. SAC, Fullerton and Riverside.
San Bernardino won the men’s four-mile race and Glendale won the women’s five kilometer race.
Ceja lead the women’s team to a 15th place finish out of 20 teams by placing in the No. 11 spot out of 162 runners, earning a place on the Golden West all-classic team; ELAC’s first trophy of the season.
Ceja ran a time of 19:24, improving her top time of the year by 30 seconds.
Also improving on their top times of the year were Valerie Rivas finishing in 22:27 and Maria Cruz 26:37.
Freshmen Ana Content and Robin Estrada ran their debut races for the Huskies running in 26:23 and 27:01, respectively. “We are taking it one meet at a time and are pumped up for next week,” said Ceja.
“The Huskies will be at full strength next week and should surprise many,” said Jose Lopez, a top-five runner for the men’s team.
The men’s team placed 10th out of 18 teams at the meet, beating West Los Angeles and Rio Hondo Colleges for the second straight week.
The men’s team also beat San Diego area teams City, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.
The Huskies were edged by three points in the men’s race by conference foe El Camino College Compton Educational Center, formerly known as Compton Community College.
Five Huskies from the men’s team improved their best times of the early season: Daniel Rincon, finished in 22:37, Fernando Jauregui, 23:27, Lupe Baquero, 23:42, Carlos Lopez, 24:21, and Carlos Segovia, 24:30.
Returning to the team was 2010 state finalist Adrian Gaytan, placing No. 81, in 23:14, who improved his time on this course by 43 seconds.
Marcos Lopez debuted for the men’s team but did not finish.
“I pulled a hamstring but will recover to run next week and support the team,” said Lopez.
ELAC will compete Friday in the prestigious Southern California Preview Meet, to be held this year at Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in Ontario.
The women’s race will begin at 11 a.m., the men’s at noon.