By Tadzio Garcia
The Huskies dropped out of the SoCal rankings despite taking seventh place out of 21 teams racing at the 2012 Mt. San Antonio College Cross Country Invite Friday, Oct. 12.
Host Mt. San Antonio College edged the Huskies by 13 points to take sixth place because the Huskies ran short missing three of their top runners.
The Huskies however edged Pima Community College from Arizona by five points and South Coast Conference rival Pasadena City College who placed ninth.
Andres De La Cruz, East Los Angeles College’s No.1 runner, took ninth place in the 4-mile race, finishing in 21:24 minutes.
He was followed by Daniel Rincon-Zaragoza in 19th place finishing in 21:41. Also Kris Chacon (37th) in 22:09, Gonzalo Ceja (54th) in 22:24 and Daniel Fernandez (101st) 23:14. All five men scored for the Huskies.
“The men’s team really stepped it up. There is still room for improvement that we’ll hopefully see in the next two weeks,” Head Coach Louis Ramirez said.
The men’s team also included Michael Vallejos (119th) who finished in the N0. 6 spot for the Huskies in 23:38.
Omar Alvarenga and Carlos Lopez averaged 6:05 per mile. Alvarenga edged Lopez by one second for 139th place.
They were followed by Andrew Torres (147th) in 24:29, Carlos Segovia (152nd) in 24:45 and Juan Rodriguez who placed 158th in 25:15 out of 271 runners.
“I saved energy for the hills so I could keep my pace,” Rodriguez said.
Women’s team places 12th
In a huge upset, the women’s team lost to Golden West College by nine points, the difference being their No. 2 runner placing well ahead of ELAC’s.
The Huskies placed 12th out of 26 teams in the 3-mile race. ELAC was led by Magdaleno who ran a personal best time in 19:13.
“I felt good during the race. I kept my pace up the hill instead of pushing it. I made sure I was following the lead group while saving energy for the last 100 meters,” Magadelno said.
In a sprint at the finish line, Magdaleno took 19th place surging over Shelby Vollmer of Sacramento (also 19:13) and Anique Villegas of El Camino (19:14).
“Megan (Magdaleno) has really stepped it up to be the number one runner,” Ramirez said.
Linda Alvarado (21:15) edged teammate Gloria Hernandez by two seconds 79th place out of 200 runners.
Rounding out the top five for the Huskies were Brianna Lewis (21:47) and Valerie Rivas (21:49).
They were followed by Karina Toribio (23:12), Rosa Lima (23:58), Vanessa Buelna (25:50) and Xochitl Qujintanilla (28:23).
Both teams will race in a field of four-year universities next Saturday at the NAIA West Coast Jamboree hosted by Biola University at Irvine Park all day in Orange, Calif.