By Denise Chavez
Freshman Laura Aceves ran a personal record in the biggest race of her life. She won the Cross Country State Championship women’s individual title Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno.
As a result Aceves made All-American status.For the second consecutive year a Husky won this feat. Aceves is the second Husky in ELAC’s 68-year history to win gold medals at the state finals, the SoCal Championships, and win an individual title in the conference finals.
Sylvia Mosqueda did the same in 1986. Mosqueda’s time of 17:06 when she won the gold still stands as the fastest women’s time in the state finals.
Aceves ran 17:42.08 tying the 12th best mark in state final’s meet history in the 3.1 mile women’s race.
“We trained so the runners could run their fastest race of the season at the state finals, and Laura did just that,” Head Coach Louis Ramirez said.
When asked how Aceves improved her time, “I never had to tell her anything twice,” Ramirez said.
“It was important for me to listen to what the coach taught me to would learn each day,” Aceves said.
For Aceves to win the gold, the plan was for her to keep up with women’s favorite Yesenia Silva of College of the Sequoias.
Aceves ran behind Silva the entire race and passed her in the last 50 meters and beat Silva by three seconds.
In the summer Aceves’s life consisted of work, family and running.
She was practicing on one of ELAC’s training courses in June when she met Ramirez.
“He asked me if I went to college and I said no. He introduced the idea of college to me and asked if I would like to run in a team while getting an education,” Aceves said.
“I was never part of a team, and I liked the idea,” Aceves said
Running with a team was a new experience for Aceves.
“I like it and I like the team camaraderie, especially working together and pushing each other. I missed having my teammates with me at the states. We will make it together next year,” Aceves said.