By Tadzio Garcia
The No.13-ranked East Los Angeles cross country men’s team took fifth place out of 15 teams, their best in years, at the Golden West Invitational last Friday, Sept. 21 in Huntington Beach.
Andres De La Cruz placed 11th in 21:09 minutes to earn a spot on his second All Top-14 team this season.
“I am happy with the race results both for myself and for (East Los Angeles College) even though I’m just getting back into the emotion of running cross country,” De La Cruz said.
De La Cruz has not run for three years since running at Norwalk High School.
“I’m getting my rhythm back and will get better each week,” De La Cruz said.
Four top-10 teams placed ahead of the Huskies at Golden West, including South Coast Conference rivals, No. 3-ranked Los Angeles Trade Technical College, who won the event, and No. 7-ranked Mt. San Antonio College, the fourth place finisher.
ELAC however continues to drop times—this week for an average of 49 seconds per runner, 27 seconds faster than Mt. SAC from last week’s official times.
The difference is that ELAC was outscored by Mt. SAC by 27 points this week an improvement from being outscored 145 points last week.
“We train each week for our upcoming meet. Techniques could be long distance, speed, hill reps, or even the heat we might face,” Daniel Rincon-Zaragoza said.
Rincon-Zaragoza, who ran in 21:48, a personal best for the second consecutive meet, vies for the top ELAC finish each week with three runners.
One of those runners, Kris Chacon, did not run at Golden West.
Rounding out the men’s scoring for ELAC include Andres Rosas (22:18), Gonzalo Ceja (22:21) and Oscar Jasso (23:00).
Non-scorers included Aaron Jasso (23:14), Carlos Lopez (23:30), Omar Alvarenga (23:45), Michale Vallejos (23:59), Daniel Fernandez (24:09), Carlos Segovia (24:27), Juan Rodriguez (24:36) and Andrew Torres (25:26)
The women’s team took 11th place, dropping an average of 30 seconds from last week. As a result, they were just seven points out of eighth place.
The top ELAC runner was Megan Magdaleno (20:05), who placed 17th edging Charlene Quintanilla of champion Glendale College by less than a second. Other top Husky runners include Gloria Hernandez (21:59), Kattie Padilla (22:11), Linda Alvarado (22:33) and Valerie Rivas (23:38).
Non-scorers included Rosa Lima (24:53), Vanessa Buelna (25:23), Karina Toribio (25:29) and Xochilt Quintanilla (29:53).
Team members talked about the difficulty of the hill on the course.
“I wanted to stop when going up the hill but pushed myself for the team,” Hernandez said.
Quintanilla said that the hill caused her problems, but she decided to push on but in a different way.
“I got a cramp running up the hill. So I decided to run safe and only pushed at the finish line. You have to run smart,” Quintanilla said.