Cross country dashes to second place

By Tadzio Garcia

Producing their best results in five years at Mt. San Antonio College invitational, the men’s and women’s cross country teams placed second last Saturday.
“We did well at Mt. SAC,” said coach Louis Ramirez, “we will be at full strength at our next meet.”

Johana Ceja and Daniel Rincon were the first Husky runners to cross the finish line both finishing in fifth place in their respective races.

Ceja ran the women’s three-mile course in 19:54, beating her top 2010 regular season time. Rincon finished the men’s four-mile race with a time of 22:50.

Rounding out the East Los Angeles College women’s team were Valerie Rivas landing in 14th place with a time of 22:33, Kimberly Julio (15th) who clocked in at 22:37, Bette Bosch (18th) at 23:40 and Maria Cruz (22nd) at 26:59.

Bosch, who ran cross country at Hollywood High School,  returns to long distance running after a three-year layoff and moved into the No. 4 position on the women’s team.

“It’s all about the team—let’s go Huskies,” said Bosch.

The Huskies, running with a small team, finished behind champion Mt. SAC.

At Mt. SAC, both Husky teams beat West Los Angeles College by 20 points on a picture perfect day.

Both the men’s and momen’s team also outscored Golden West College, which finished in fourth place, and Rio Hondo College (5th).

Adding to the men’s score was Ramiro Ramirez who ran to 13th place in 23:50, Fernando Jauregui (17th) crossing the finish line in 24:19, Lupe Baquero (22nd) at 25:10 and Raul “Junior” Herrera (25th) at 25:59.

Herrera nipped teammates Carlos “Scrappy” Lopez (26th) by two seconds and Carlos Segovia (27th) by four seconds on this cross country course, which is one of the oldest in the world according to the Mt. SAC website.

Because the course has remained unchanged for over six decades, challenging generations of runners, this course is called “the largest on the globe” by Runners World Magazine.

With large clocks posted at each mile, the famed course is broken into four sections for community college men and three sections for community college women.

The first mile begins on a paved “airstrip” area continuing with two loops around a dusty, desert-like “valley loop” section.

“I ran with the leaders of the (women’s) race,” said Ceja, “and saw I had a good time after the first mile.”

The second mile includes areas in the hilly “switchbacks” section followed by the steep “poop out hill.”

“I didn’t push myself after the switchbacks, knowing I had to pace myself with what was to come,” said Ceja.

Mile three goes up and down the long scenic “reservoir hill,” the final major course incline. For the men, a fourth section is added by repeating the valley loop and the windy switchback areas.

The course wraps up along side the airstrip area with a last second climb to reach the finish line. ELAC once again showed its sprints strength crossing the finish line as Julio edged a West LA runner by four seconds and Rincon and Ramirez each edged Mt. SAC runners at the tape.

ELAC’s next meet is on Friday at the Golden West Invitational at Central Park in Huntington Beach beginning at 10 a.m.

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