WALNUT, CA — East Los Angeles College accomplished its goal at the 68th Annual Mt. SAC Relays. According to a Mt. SAC official, the Relays are the nation’s largest cross country meet, which draws about 25,000 runners each year in four divisions.
For the first time this season, the men’s cross country team did not lose to both Long Beach City and Pasadena City colleges, the teams ELAC must defeat in two weeks to advance to the SoCal Championships for the seventh consecutive year.
ELAC tied Long Beach for 10th place at the Relays, but settled for 11th place in the 23-team community college division because Long Beach had a faster sixth man. ELAC’s official sixth man from its seven-man roster, freshman Adam Ochoa (South Gate High School), who was not able to compete. ELAC walloped Pasadena by 70 points.
The South Coast Conference, one of the toughest conferences in the state, sends four teams to the post season. In order for ELAC to finish fourth, they must defeat both Long Beach and Pasadena.
The SCC finals, ELAC’s final meet of the year, will take place in Palos Verdes on Oct. 30. The meet begins at 2:15 p.m. at the Lunada Bay Little League Fields in the Palos Verdes Estates, hosted by El Camino College.
ELAC proved at the Mt. SAC Relays they can run fast enough with Long Beach to defeat them, something they haven’t done all season.
“We are peaking at the right time of the season,” said ELAC Head Coach Louis Ramirez. “But still have to improve.”
Sophomore Andrew Perez (Montebello High School), ELAC’s No. 1 runner, finished in 22:20 minutes. He is seeded to advance to SoCal on his own.
Freshman Robin Joseph (L.A. Bravo Medical Magnet) is the ELAC No. 2 runner and finished six seconds faster than teammate sophomore Justin Torres (Alhambra).
Sophomore Daniel Lopez (Roosevelt) continues to hold onto the ELAC No. 4 position. He ran a lifetime best on a hilly course. He edged teammate freshman Michael Tapia (Alliance Neuwirth Academy) for the second-consecutive meet this season and is a big reason why ELAC was able to tie Long Beach in total points.
Freshman Jose Lopez (Garfield) didn’t score for the Huskies, but sprinted faster than two Santa Barbara City College freshman at the finish line to run a season personal best time.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia