The men’s cross country team at Saddleback had three individuals finish in the top-100 in last week’s Southern California regional finals to qualify for the state meet next Saturday in Fresno. The Gauchos finished 16th overall, led by freshman Jorge Ayala.
Ayala ran the 3-mile Mt. San Antonio College course in 21:52 to finish 36th overall, less than 1.5 minutes off the winning pace. Josh Guerrero (pictured) also had a fine finish for the Gauchos, running the course in 22:24 to finish 64th out of 201 runners.
Saddleback finished 16th out of 33 teams, qualifying to run in the state meet at Woodward Park next Saturday in Fresno, California.
San Bernadino Valley College walked away with top team honors followed by Orange Coast, Glendale, Mt. SAC and El Camino, to round out the top-5.
Saddleback had several individuals fare rather well at the Golden West Invitational held on Friday, September 25, at Central Park in Huntington Beach.
For the women's team, Kelley Breen placed sixth overall in a field of 167 runners with a time of 19:39. Saddleback could only field four healthy runners in this meet which was not enough for a team score. However, Estefania Lugano placed 50th (21:46) and Kris Andersen placed 51st (21:50) while Sarah Pacific placed 80th (23:20) as all four finishers placed in the top half of the field.
On the men's side, Josh Guerrero placed 19th in the field of 196 finishers with a time of 21:24. AJ Kimura placed 29th (21:39) and Jorge Ayala placed 34th (21:41) to help Saddleback place eighth in the 22-team field. Alex Vargas placed 73rd (22:57) and Keaton Davis followed at 76th (23:01) to give the Gauchos all the scoring they would need in this event.
Saddleback will run in the Brubaker Invitational on Saturday, October 10, at the Irvine Regional Park and then head to the big Mt. SAC Invitational on Friday, October 16.
Both the men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2009 season by participating in the Cuesta Invitational held Saturday, September 19, on the Fairbanks Course in San Luis Obispo.
Saddleback's top individuals each placed seventh in both races. AJ Kimura led the men's team, finishing the 4-mile race in 22:23. Jorge Ayala placed 15th (22:49) and Josh Guerrero finished 18th overall (23:07) out of 60 finishers to help the Gauchos post a team score of 91 and edge the host Cuesta Cougars (96) out of fourth place by five points. Glendale (31) won the men's race with College of the Sequoias (54) placing second and Hartnell (79) coming in third.
For the women's race, sophomore Kelley Breen paced the Saddleback women by covering the 5-kilometer course in 19:30 while teammates Estefania Lugano placed 26th (21:50) and Kris Andersen placed 28th (22:08) out of 51 finishers. Saddleback posted a team scored of 105 to place fifth, edged out of fourth place by Moorpark (93). Glendale won the race with 21 points while Cuesta (76) edged Hartnell (78) for second place.
Check out the event photos HERE.