SANTA CLARITA, CA — The East Los Angeles College Huskies men’s cross country team didn’t get the results they hoped, but defeated Los Angeles Harbor College by 13 points at the SoCal Championships Preview Meet in Santa Clarita’s Central Park.
ELAC’s third and fourth runners, sophomore Raymond Rascon (Pioneer High School) and freshman Joshua Cardenas (Schurr HS), respectively, made the difference in the win against Harbor.
“The men’s team is a much better team that we displayed today,” said second year ELAC head coach James Maynard. “It was an experience. It’s tough to get used to standing on a starting line with 300 other people.”
ELAC was the only community college that ran its first meet, which was designed with tight lanes throughout. “I wish the lanes were a little wider, but we learned what to prepare for the next time we are here,” said Rasgon.
The postseason SoCal Championships will be on this course.
Sophomore Nathan Rangel began the season finishing as the top runner for the Huskies with a time of 24:40.8 minutes in the largest meet of the year for ELAC with more than 300 runners in the men’s race.
Rangel sprinted at the finish line in front of San Diego Mesa freshman Jose Garcia by three one hundredths of a second.
ELAC freshman Kevin Garcia (Reedley HS) finished as ELAC’s No. 2 runner in 24:40.8. His final sprint was the closest of the day.
Garcia cross the finish line 1/100’s of a second faster than Cerritos sophomore Aleksie Dominguez.
“It was an exciting end my first college race. The transition from high school is a harder, longer race,” said Garcia.
Garcia who recently moved from the Fresno area to Los Angeles, chose to attend ELAC even though he lives about 30 miles from campus. He is a walk-on to the team.
Rasgon scored for ELAC in the No. 3 spot for the Huskies.
“I felt good throughout today,” said Rasgon. “I just have to control the breathing and adjust to the wind.”
“This is the first time the Huskies sophomores ran this course,” said Rasgon. “We will get better and drop times.
Cardenas and sophomore Matthew Ruiz (Bell Gardens HS) rounded out the scoring for the Huskies.
Cardenas passed Pasadena City College freshman Iraq Davolt with four hundred meters left. Cardenas increased his pace and crossed the finish line more than six seconds faster than Davolt.
Ruiz passed San Diego Mesa sophomore Jason Vo before the third mile and finished almost two minutes faster.
Next up for the Huskies is the Golden West Invitational on Friday Sept. 22 at Central Park in Huntington Beach with a start time of 11 a.m.
submitted by Tadzio Garcia