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

Women stride toward state

Making a slight adjustment in strategy gave freshman Heather Rosas a pleasant surprise in the Southern California regional cross country championships at Mt. SAC. Nov. 7.

By pacing herself in the first half of the race, Rosas had enough strength left to capture first place in 17:51, setting an EC record for the challenging and hilly Mt. SAC course.

Her excellent race helped the women’s cross country team to a second-place finish.

The team qualified for the state championships at Woodward Park in Fresno this Saturday. It is the 25th straight year an EC cross country team has qualified for the state championships.

At the state finals, the Warriors will compete against 18 team — 10 teams from Southern California and eight from Northern California.

Coach Dean Lofgren, voted conference coach of the year, said the runners are confident and looking forward to the final race.

“We will do our best to go into the state championship race healthy, fit and relaxed, knowing that the pressure is on the shoulders of Orange Coast,” he said. “We are better off being the hunters than the hunted.”

EC is ranked No. 2 in the state. The team will face No. 1 Orange Coast and another strong college, Hartnell, from Northern California.

At Mt. SAC, Rosas broke away from strong sophomore runner Eva Jones from Orange Coast in the last half mile to claim victory.

“I was surprised that I won,” Rosas said. “I was very happy with that. There were very fast women around me and pushing me the whole time.”

Rosas said she learned a valuable lesson in a previous race.

“I was thinking not to go out too fast,” EC’s fastest freshman said, “because on the same course a few weeks ago, I went out too fast and got tired toward the end. But this time, I measured myself to stay behind them, and at the end I passed them.”

Orange Coast won the meet with 76 points and EC followed with 108, holding off strong teams from Riverside (112) and Southwestern (117).

Becky Cherry finished 19th at 19:23; Jennifer Morrison took 22nd at 19:31; Cora Webber crossed 28th at 19:45; Evelyn Lopez finished 40th at 20:01; Denise Warnecke took 47th at 20:15 and Janet Tostado placed 51st at 20:22.

“We started out in good position and moved up and worked together,” Morrison said.

This week, the runners are making their final tuneups and feeling optimistic.

“I think we’ll do pretty well because we’ve done well so far,” Morrison said.

Lofgren said the team will take advantage of any opportunities in the race.

“It has been a very good year already for a very worthy group of women, and we are confident that we will be ready to run well at state,” he said.

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