Cross Country stays on track

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By Haylee Qualls & Daniel Segraves

By Haylee Qualls & Daniel Segraves

With four team members finishing in the top 20 of the Fresno City College Invitational Sept 23, the Riverside City College women’s cross country team won the competition by 10 points with an cumulative score of 79 points for the meet.

The women’s cross country team has become accustomed to success, coming in either first or second place in all of its events this season. Team members Ana Mendoza, Kristen Linn, Alana Currie and Candyce Hoover clocked in with an average time of 20 minutes in the meet. The RCC women’s team scored 16 points better than Mt. San Antonio, who in turn defeated the RCC men’s team by eight points.

Sophomore Ana Mendoza maintained her reputation as one of the team’s leading runners, finishing in fifth place, followed closely by Linn and Currie, who led RCC’s invitational the following week. Currie finished second place, nine seconds behind the first-place winner.

Despite the strong placing of top-ranked Orange Coast in the Orange Empire Conference Preview meet Oct 6 (Orange Coast runners took the top four spots) and the absence of three runners, the RCC women’s team still managed to rank second. Ana Mendoza and Sabrina Medrano both scored within the top 10.

As the finals quickly approach, the women’s team is focusing its attention on the Oct 28 comeptition. In doing so, only four runners participated in the Mt. San Antonio Invitational last week in Walnut. Astyne Price led RCC’s team with a time of 22:29.

On the men’s front, Kyle Ramirez and Mike Munoz led RCC by taking third and seventh place in the Fresno City College Invitational, respectively. Despite a less than perfect season, coach Jim McCarron holds as much optimism as his players.

“We have had a few injuries, but the guys have worked through them,” McCarron said. “The team is having an excellent season. We have had three first place, three second place, and one seventh place finish thus far. The team is ranked in the top 5 at the state level.”

Munoz and Ramirez, who also placed second and third in RCC’s own invitational, have been leading the team consistently all season, with Ramirez placing highest in all events and Munoz trailing closely. The entire team continues to dominate the competion; four of the top six places in the meet were claimed by RCC.

The success at home set up the men’s team for the OEC Preview, where the team only improved on its performance. Adrian Jaquez joined the momentous teaming of Munoz and Ramirez as all three runners claimed spots in the top ten.

While the women’s team rested up for the upcoming finals, the men’s team pressed forward in the Santa Barbara Invitational. The team ran without Kyle Ramirez, yet still came in seventh place out of twenty teams that participated. Mike Munoz continued to lead the team, however, finishing at 19:50.

Both teams prepare for a chance at a championship title. The fight begins Oct. 28 when both teams compete in Irvine at the Orange Empire Conference finals.

“There are ten teams who have a chance to win the state meet, and we are one of them,” men’s coach Jim McCarron said. “If they stay healthy and injury free, (the team) will be on the line fighting for a championship Nov. 8.”

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