East LA College runners advance to state

GO FOR THE GREEN—Gonzalo Ceja, No. 97, runs for the ‘Green Machine,’ the East Los Angeles College men’s cross country team at the South Coast Conference finals where he helped the team advance to the SoCal Championships. Ceja didn’t score at the SoCal finals finishing in 23:19.73. The Huskies advance to the state finals out of SoCal where Ceja has a chance to match his personal time of 21:35.00. CN/Tadzio Garcia

By Tadzio Garcia


The men’s cross country team and Megan Magdaleno from the women’s team advanced out of the SoCal Championships to the State Championships.

The state finals will be at Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 17, beginning at 10am.

The Huskies ran away with two huge upsets.

SoCal’s No. 14-ranked Huskies edged No. 12 Santa Barbara City College by nine points to take 10th place over the Vaqueros.

The Huskies ran away from No. 11 Cuesta College by 144 points.

Andres De La Cruz is the first Husky to make the top-twenty for the first time since 2006 when Oscar Ogwaro won the four-mile SoCal race in 21:53.35 minutes.

De La Cruz took 19th place out of a field of SoCal’s top 195 men in 20:42.77 minutes.

He was followed by Daniel Rincon-Zaragoza who took 32nd place in 21:00.77 and Kris Chacon, who ran 21:51.30 to take the No. 72 spot.

Andres Rosas placed No. 106 in 22:24.48 followed by Aaron Jasso (No. 122 in 22:45.14) who rounded out the scoring for the Huskies.

Gonzalo Ceja finished in 23:19.73 abd Oscar Jasso finished in 23:51.92.

Aaron Jasso beat his twin Oscar Jasso mid-season at the Foothill Invitational. “He is faster than me. I wanted to beat him just once this season. When I passed him in the Foothill race, he said ‘go get them’ to motivate me,” Aaron Jasso said.

Aaron Jasso has outrun his brother in every race since. The rivalry is good for the team. Aaron Jasso, who ran the race of his life at SoCal, also upset the Ceja, who was the No. 4 runner for the team.

In doing so, Aaron Jasso, who finished as the No. 5 runner for the Huskies, outscored Santa Barbara’s No. 5 runner by 10 points. That was the difference in the upset for the Huskies over the Vaqueros.

“We have two weeks to train harder than we ever have and we will improve at state and run better times,” Rincon-Zaragoza said.

In their last two meets, the Huskies have upset four higher ranked teams. They also beat No. 9-ranked El Camino College and No. 13 Long Beach City College last week at the South Coast Conference finals.

Magdaleno, the lone Husky from the women’s team to advance to SoCal, advanced to the state finals. She placed 48th at SoCal out of 205 runners.

Magdaleno saved enough energy to outsprint Arianna Condon of Golden West by less than a second and Aleeshsa Flugum of Moorpark in less than two seconds.

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