by Tadzio Garcia
Gonzalo Ceja placed sixth and led the Husky Cross Country Team to the postseason for the first time in four years at the South Coast Conference finals in Long Beach last Friday.
“We are happy, but we are not satisfied. We will be satisfied when we make state,” Ceja said.
Ceja was the first Husky named to the SCC Men’s Top-14 since 2006.
Oscar Ogwaro won the individual SCC men’s title in 2006. He also won the state title and SoCal that year.
“My goal was to place top 10, but also beat the runners from (LA) Trade Tech (College),” Ceja said.
Ceja and his teammates overheard a LATTC coach taunt ELAC while giving his team a pep talk next to the ELAC team just prior to the men’s four mile race.
“I don’t want you guys to be at ELAC’s distance, that’s too far back,” a Trade Tech coach said.
Ceja was gliding to a sixth placing finish when he had to sprint unexpectedly.
“I saw (Carlos Uriel’s) shadow creeping up with about 50 meters left so I kicked in my sprint. I was not going to lose to him after that speech,” Ceja said.
Ceja finished five seconds faster than Uriel.
“I told a friend of mine on the Trade Tech team to go tell his coach I beat his entire team,” Ceja said.
The Trade Tech team didn’t run at Ceja’s or teammate Kris Chacon’s pace, ELAC’s top two runners.
LATTC however had enough gas to edge ELAC for fourth place. Fifth place however, was good enough for ELAC to continue their season.
The Huskies will compete at the SoCal Championships at Central Park, this Friday at noon in Santa Clarita.
The Husky faithful included ELAC student Salvador Ascencio who rode his bike from Montebello to Long Beach.
“I did it to support the team at the SCC finals. They believed they would make SoCal and they did,” Ascencio said.
Requilme-Colin ran a personal best mile in training last week peaking at the right time of the season.
“I kept my speed up at the SCC finals because I focused on a plan and did not push myself, which doesn’t help me run faster,” Requilme-Colin said.
Also finishing for the Huskies were Andrew Torres and Rene Flores.
“We didn’t do well at SoCal Preview and ran the season injured. Everyone wrote off this team, but we did not,” Coach Ramirez said. “The team ran a smart race. They could move on to state if they do the same at SoCal.”