ORANGE, CA mdash;The East Los Angeles College five-member women’s cross country team, competed at the 2016 SoCal Preview Meet at Irvine Regional Park in the City of Orange, but did not score because only four Huskies competed.
The Huskies however gained experience from their first-ever college meet in a 5-Kilometer race that consisted of 244 women.
ELAC Cross Country Head Coach James Maynard recruited four freshman and one sophomore, half of which were dealing with minor injuries and did not have a lot of distance. They should improve 2-3 minutes off today’s times this season with hard work according to Maynard.
“The women's team did pretty well for their first meet. (They) did feel nervous for their opener,” said Assistant Coach Sabrina Lopez. “It is a great start and I feel they will be better in…future races. Practice makes perfection! Consistent training and hard work will help the team improve.”
Freshman Grecia Estrada (Montebello High School) began the season as the No. 1 runner on the team. She finished the race in 22:15.2 minutes.
Estrada sprinted 7/100th’s faster than freshman Alex Herrera of LA Harbor College.
Sophomore Maria Sanchez (Alhambra HS), who returns to the team from the 2014-15 season, finished in 28:56.4. Sanchez outpaced teammate Ricki Gutierrez who finished in 29:38.1.
Freshman Esmeralda Tlacatelpa (Long Beach Cabrillo HS) finished in 31:49.0 for the Huskies. She paced herself near the end of the race 5 1/2 seconds faster than did freshman Abigail Zaragoza (Santiago Canyon HS).
The SoCal women’s race included 244 athletes. The team champion was Glendale Community College, four-time state champions from the previous nine years.
ELAC will host the South Coast Conference Championships at Legg Lake in South El Monte on Friday Oct. 28.
The Huskies compete in the Cal State San Bernardino Coyote Challenge Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24 beginning at 8 a.m.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia