SANTA CLARITA, CA — In their final meet before the regular season ending South Coast Conference Championships, the Huskies men’s cross country team placed ninth at the CSU Fullerton Titan Invitational.
ELAC ran against mostly four-year university competition and defeated San Diego Christian College, an NAIA school, in the process by 79 points and were edged by Orange Coast College who placed eighth.
The Huskies are an improved team and gained time on Orange Coast since they last met by an average of two minutes and 19 seconds per man.
Two sophomores ran personal records for ELAC in the 8k race, Raymond Rascon (Pioneer High School) and Pablo Hernandez (Downtown Magnets HS).
“My goal for the 8k was to break my personal record,” said Hernandez. “Overall, I have been pushing myself to pass Raymond (Rascon) and I'm getting a step closer.”
Rascon ran 2:26.2 minutes faster than his previous 8k race while Hernandez trimmed 1:39.2 and both finished with times of 29:09.2 and 31:08.1, respectively.
Freshman Joshua Cardenas (Schurr HS) ran an amazing race, 38.5 seconds off his fastest 4-mile time in this one-mile longer race.
ELAC’s top runner, sophomore Nathan Rangel (Montebello HS) finished in 26:49.8 and placed 20th among community college men.
Freshman Kevin Garcia (Reedley HS) ran 28:13.2 and with a mad dash in the final 50 meters edged Cal Coast junior Dalton Seckinger by 6/100th’s of a second.
Sophomore Jonathan Pedroza (Garfield HS) finished just behind Rascon in a time of 29:30.1.
Freshman Andrew Mora-Duran (South East HS) finished 10 seconds behind Hernandez in 31:18.6.
Sophomore Matthew Ruiz (Bell Gardens HS) ran an incredible race in 35:09.2 just short of his best 4-mile time.
At Mt. SAC, ELAC placed 13th out of 18 teams and improved a minute and 25 seconds faster than their previous meet results. SCC rival Pasadena City College placed 11th and improved eight seconds during the same span.
Rangel crossed the finish line first for the Huskies in 24:18.1. Rangel was running neck and neck with Arizona Pima College freshman Connor Deakin in the final 100 meters then pumped it up and finished 1.9 seconds faster.
Garcia finished with his first personal record of the season in 24:33.1. Rounding out the scoring for the Huskies included Pedroza, Rascon and Hernandez followed by non-scorers Mora-Duran and Cardenas.
The Huskies close out the regular season in the SCC finals on this same hilly course on Friday, Oct. 27 with an 11 a.m. start time.
The Huskies will compete to advance to the SoCal Championships on Friday, Nov. 3 at Central Park in Santa Clarita.
“I believe we have a good chance on making it to SoCal,” said Rascon.
submitted by Tadzio Garcia