By Tadzio Garcia
The men’s cross country team ran to their fastest times of the season while Megan Magdaleno won an award at the eighth Annual Foothill Invitational held last Saturday in Ontario.
Magdaleno led the women’s pack with a top-ten finish award, her second of the season, running a blistering 20:00 minutes on a 5k flat course in desert-like conditions.
“It was a hard race to run in the heat. I pushed on, staying near the front of the race as much as I could, and it paid off,” Magdaleno said.
The No. 13-ranked Huskies were outscored by two points by No. 11 Cuyamaca College for third place in the 4-mile race.
The Huskies were led by Daniel Rincon-Zaragoza whose 15th place finish in 21:47 was a lifetime best.
“I kept up with (teammate) Andres De La Cruz and pushed it up at the two mile mark, holding on to my pace to the end,” Rincon-Zaragoza said.
Gonzalo Ceja ran in 21:48, knocking off 33 seconds from last week to place 16th, while De La Cruz placed 19th in 21:57.
“I ran a smart race and when I saw an opportunity, I took it. I had enough near the finish line to sprint tough,” Ceja said.
Ceja out-sprinted Jose Catalan of champion Glendale College by two seconds.
Rounding out the top Huskies from the men’s 14-member team were Andres Rosas in 22:31 (28th place), followed by Kris Chacon who was one second behind (29th).
The men’s team pace separated them early on from Palomar, San Diego City and Victory Valley colleges, who placed fifth through seventh respectively.
Non-scores for the Huskies included Oscar Jasso (23:15), Carlos Lopez (23:41), Michael Vallejos (24:18), Andrew Torres (24:30), Omar Alvarenga (24:35), Daniel Fernandez (24:39), Juan Rodriguez (24:47) and Carlos Segovia (25:20).
Fernadez ran his fastest time of the year.
“The men’s team ran well, but the women’s team didn’t run our best race,” Head Coach Louis Ramirez said.
Glendale won the women’s title while San Bernardino Valley College edged ELAC by seven points for 5th place.
ELAC bested Imperial Valley College by 68 points and also beat a tough West Los Angeles College team.
Linda Alvarado was the Huskies’ No. 2 runner finishing in 21:45, followed by Kattie Padilla (22:05), Valerie Rivas (22:09) and Briana Lewis (22:16).
Rivas ran a personal best this season by 1:17 minutes. “I kept a strong pace by staying with the top ELAC pack and then pushed my last mile,” Rivas said.
Non-scorers for the women included Gloria Hernandez (22:19), Karina Toribio (24:25), Rosa Lima (25:07) and Lady Regalado (25:42).
The Huskies will travel to UC San Diego to compete in the 20th Annual Triton Classic at the season’s midpoint in a field that includes 4-year universities.
“I have ran my fastest three races this year improving each week. Next week however is the most important race for me to run my fastest time,” Rincon-Zaragoza said.
“This is the time to run our best against such tough competition. It gives our team exposure,” Rincon-Zaragoza said.