By Tadzio Garcia
East Los Angeles College sophomores Laura Aceves and Andres De La Cruz and were named to the 2014 Rio Hondo Cross Country Classic All-Meet Top-10 Teams in the Huskies’ season opener Sept. 5.
Defending women’s individual state champion Aceves took second place behind internationally acclaimed Nigerian runner, Aminat Olowora, now a student at Southwestern College.
Olowora clocked in 16:33.00 minutes, in the meet’s five kilometer women’s race. Aceves finished in 17:52.00.
“I improved my time from last year Rio Hondo meet (31 seconds faster), so I am pleased with my results,” Aceves said.
De La Cruz, the No. 1 runner for ELAC in 2012, placed ninth and led the men’s team to a sixth place tie with Oxnard College. He was named to his second Classic Top-10 Award in three years.
Riverside City College won the women’s team title while Southwestern College took the men’s team championship.
The ELAC women’s team outscored Santa Monica College by 58 points to take sixth place. South Coast Conference rivals El Camino and Pasadena City colleges defeated the Huskies by 18 and 12 points respectively.
The men’s team tied for sixth place with Oxnard College out of 12 teams.
Three personal records were bested by sophomores from the women’s team, two from the men’s team.
Guadalupe Yanez eclipsed a minute from her previous fastest time, Sandy Bautista ran a lifetime best 53 seconds faster and Vanessa Buelna improved from her 2012 best time by over four minutes.
Running personal records from the men’s team included sophomores Cristian Flores (40 seconds faster) and Aaron Jasso (six seconds faster).
The 2014 Classic drew 180 athletes from 13 community colleges.
ELAC will next compete in the SoCal Preview Sept. 19 at Woodley Park in Van Nuys.