El Camino cross-country team runs with the best at SoCal preview meet

Sophomore+Israel+Cardona+%28No.+445%29+takes+on+a+steep+downhill+slope+at+the+Brubaker+Invitational+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+16%2C+2016.+Photo+credit%3A+Roy+Garza

Sophomore Israel Cardona (No. 445) takes on a steep downhill slope at the Brubaker Invitational on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Photo credit: Roy Garza

In what coach Dean Lofgren called a “huge” day, El Camino’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams got a chance to compete against all of Southern California in Friday’s Brubaker Invitational.

The competition was stiff, the Warriors faced off with every team in Southern California, as the Brubaker Invite also served the CCCAA SoCal Preview for the season.

Lofgren said he liked his team coming into this meet, but also pointed out competition including Riverside, Mt. San Antonio and San Bernardino Valley colleges of whom they would have to contend with.

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Sophomore Israel Cardona leads a pack of runners at the Brubaker Invitational on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Cardona finished the race 21st overall. Photo credit: Roy Garza

EC sophomore Israel Cardona was the Warriors’ top finisher on the men’s side, placing 21st overall with a 21:29 time in the 4-mile race, according to the final results.

The team finished ninth out of 32 teams, with Cardona, sophomores Solomon Kanehailua (38th, 21:48), Michael Moody (55th, 22:03), James Flores (90th, 22:36) and freshman Mijo Sestitch (113th, 22:54) to round out the top five.

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Freshman Brianna Harmon (No. 91) runs through the second mile at the Brubaker Invitational on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Photo credit: Roy Garza

On the women’s side, freshman Brianna Harmon led the Warriors’ pack, finishing 47th with a 21:01 time in the 5k race, according to final results.

Sophomore Victoria Portor followed her by finishing 70th with a 21:40 time; the two were the only runners to crack the top 100, placing the team in 22nd out of 31 teams, according to final results.

The Warriors’ next race is Friday, for the Golden West Invitational at Central Park in Huntington Beach. The women’s race starts at 10:15 a.m. while the men’s race starts at 11 a.m.

EDITOR’S NOTE SEPT. 26, 2016 9:59 P.M.: Minor grammatical and spelling errors corrected.