The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Bautista, runners, battle unbearable heat, competition; team places 15th

Sophomore Sal Bautista was spent – which is normal after any race, but this was by far, anything than usual – he wasn’t alone.

He and the men’s cross country team finished 15th in their most demanding race yet this season last Friday at the Mt. SAC Invitational.

The team will need to place at least fourth in the South Coast Conference Championship held at El Dorado Park in Long Beach next Saturday, if it expects to compete in the SoCal Championship Nov. 7.

Every runner had to endure the unbearable and sweltering heat that deserved a nickname, coupled with the demanding strains of a course that features steep hills and dusty trails.

“I thought I was going to die,” Bautista said of the heat while searching for breath. “I did my best. I started slow then started moving up little by little and (in the end) I finished in tenth, but I thought I was going to be in the top 15. It was too hot and I could have done better, but I did my best.”

In temperatures that approached the mid 90’s in Walnut, runners fell to the ground, grabbing at leg and side cramps as they crossed the finish line.

“It was pretty hot,” Javier Figueroa said.

Bautista finished with a time of 21:52, 10th overall, besting previous times. Figueroa crossed at 23:19, 57th; Jesse Brosius’ 24:42 was good for 122nd; Keith Philboolsook and David Olivares ran a 25:06, and 25:48 respectively.

Bautista struggled to hold on to the seventh spot in the last mile. In that final stretch he said two runners from OCC passed him.

“I was trying to keep tenth place. … This course is the worse for me right now,” he said of the four-mile course.

Next Saturday, the team will see a significant fewer number of teams, making the field more competitive.

Though the top four spots to advance aren’t completely out of reach, the team would need to put together a solid performance behind Bautista and Figueroa from its No. 3 to 5 runners.

It was a minute and a half gap between Figueroa and Brosius, and about a minute between him and Olivares at Mt. SAC.

“This is what we need to close … we can do this. We will need to in our conference meet,” Lofgren said.

“The guys are going to really have to come together as a group or we won’t advance to Southern California Championships as a team,” he said.

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