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Daria Ayala ELAC women's cross country
Freshman Daria Ayala of the East Los Angeles women's cross country team, sets a personal record in the 2018 SoCal Preview Meet. (Photo by Tadzio Garcia)

ELAC Women's Cross Country Team Sets Individual Records at SoCal Preview

CERRITOS, Calif. — Competing on the same course as the season ending SoCal Championships, the East Los Angeles College women’s cross country team ran individual best times in the SoCal Preview Meet.

Glendale Community College won the 5k SoCal Preview women’s race, hosted by Cerritos College at the Don Knabe Community Regional Park. The SoCal Preview is one of the largest meets in the state with more than 500 competitors. The Huskies did not score because they competed with a partial team; they accomplished, however, the nearly impossible when they got 3 out of 3 personal records.

“The team improved their (individual) times from the last meet and set personal records, which gets them (accustomed) to racing,” said Kelly. “We have a lot to work on and we are a team in progress.”

Sophomore Kattie Padilla (Montebello High School), the top ELAC runner and a Psychology major, finished with a personal record of 22:54.8 minutes, besting her time last week of 22:48.6 on a shorter course. Padilla was sprinting neck-and-neck with Orange Coast freshman Stephanie Valentin and pulled ahead by a fraction at the finish line winning by half a second. Last week at the University of Redlands Invitational, Padilla pulled ahead of L.A. Harbor freshman Samantha Deroo in the final 200-meters to cross the finish line 11 seconds faster.

Freshman Daria Ayala (Bravo Medical Magnet HS), who is majoring in Business Administration, had a personal record of 25:46.0 compared to her finish in 26:12.1 at Redlands. Her time was not recorded by the Cerritos officials, but was confirmed by Coach Kelly. Ayala flew by Harbor sophomore Rosa Garcia in the final dash to the finish line edging her by 3.9 seconds. Last week in Redlands, Ayala was running with a pack of four women in the final two miles. She increased her pace in the final mile and continued her faster pace to the end winning by more than 30 seconds ahead of the pack.

Freshman Tahlia Adams (Eleanor Roosevelt HS), a Technology Microcomputers major, ran her first college meet in 24:28.4. “It was overwhelming even though I improved,” said Adams. “We will just keep practicing, increasing our workouts in order to continue to get faster.”

The Huskies next compete in the Golden West Central Park Classic, Friday, Sept. 21 starting at 10 a.m. located at Central Park in Huntington Beach, 6622 Lakeview Drive, 92648.

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