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

Warriors stride to first place at weekend meet

Keeping a steady pace while striding on bike trails that laced the rolling hills of Irvine, Daniel Villanueva led the men’s cross country team to another successful meet.

By finishing first place in the Irvine Invitational last Saturday, the Warriors are now at the top of the South Coast Conference.

“The guys are running well; we just need to stay healthy,” coach Dean Lofgren said.

“Every week we have a different leader, and that is a sign of a good team.”

The team will be heading north for the Santa Barbara Invitational on Saturday. This will be its last meet of the season before competing in the South Coast Conference finals in two weeks.

The Warriors’ competition this weekend includes such colleges as Cerritos, Mt. San Antonio, Long Beach City and L.A. Trade Tech.

“It will be a very tough meet, but we should come out doing fine,” Lofgren said. “We have been running great thus far; we know we can keep it up.”

After a week off, which was much appreciated, the team went to Irvine Regional Park to compete in the Irvine Invitational.

The Warriors finished first overall in the Irvine Invitational with a combined team point total of 63; rounding out the top three teams was Cerritos College, finishing second place with 83 points and Mt. SAC, finishing third place with 85 points.

Despite not having Tyler Stover run due to a leg injury, the Warriors still managed to finish first.

The team was led by former Mira Costa standout Villanueva, who covered the 4-mile course in 20:56 and was good enough to secure second place. Villanueva was just two seconds behind winner Kyle Hughes from Saddleback College.

“It was a great race; we, as a team, ran very well,” Villanueva said.

“I had a great race individually, but I know I can do much better and our team can also improve as well,” he said.

Jason Hanakeawe, the Warriors’ top runner and another former Mira Costa athlete, finished in seventh place at 21:13. Francisco Delgado placed 10th at 21:25, Daniel Belay finished 18th at 21:43, and last year’s Daily Breeze Runner of the Year, Jon Yi, placed 30th with a time of 22:07.

“It great to see new people stepping up; that is a sign

of great team work,” Hankeawe said.

Still, the top runner of the team sees room for individual improvement, yet commends the rest of the team for a job well done.

“I did not run my best run of the season, but my teammates stepped up. We should do very well in our next meet,” Hanakeawe said.

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