ORANGE, CA — The East Los Angeles College men’s cross country team placed 24th of 32 teams at the 2016 SoCal Preview Meet at Irvine Regional Park in the City of Orange today.
The Huskies are a young team with eight freshmen and one sophomore.
Several of the ELAC freshmen were top cross country runners in high school, competing in 3-mile competitions. Today marked their first four-mile community college meet.
“The true freshmen (mostly 18-year olds) looked overwhelmed in their first college meet, but will improve with more experience,” said first-year ELAC head coach James Maynard.
There were 317 men running in the SoCal race. One Husky placed in the top 100, freshman Martin Perez took 64th place and ran in 22:25.1 minutes, sprinting two seconds faster at the finish line than freshman Shawn Contreras of Orange Coast College.
ELAC finishers, in order, include freshmen Victor Jauregui (Montebello HS) who ran 24:16.0, Raymond Rascon (Pioneer HS) with a time of 24:22.3, Jonathan Pedroza (Garfield HS) who ran 24:27.9 and Nathan Rangel (Montebello HS) who finished in 24:32.1.
Also, Anthony Jovel (Bell Gardens HS) who ran 25:46.8 and Allen Au Yeyng (San Gabriel HS) who clocked in at 25:52.6. Jovel is a two-sport Husky. He competes for the track & field team as well.
Also, sophomore Rene Flores (Garfield HS), who returns to the team after a two-year absence, who finished in 27:07.7, freshmen Pablo Hernandez (Downtown Magnets HS) who ran 28:49.6 and Matthew Ruiz (Bell Gardens HS) who finished in 29:59.1.
“My first college cross country race was a great experience,” said Ruiz. “I ran 29:59. (There’s) always room for improvement, but I had so much fun running in the race today. Thank you for everybody who helped me get here, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be here today.”
ELAC will host the South Coast Conference Championships at Legg Lake in South El Monte at the end of the regular season on Friday Oct. 28. The ELAC home course is one of the fastest courses in the state, if not the fastest.
The Huskies next compete in the 8k (5-mile) Cal State San Bernardino Coyote Challenge Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24 beginning at 8:45 a.m. at 5500 University Pkwy in San Bernardino.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia