REDDING & CERRITOS - CCCAA regional cross country champions in both Northern California and Southern California were crowned on Friday as Hartnell College and L.A. Harbor College took hope top honors in the women's competition while American River College and defending state champion Mt. San Antonio College were victorious on the men's.
Qualifying teams will not set their sights on the 2018 California Community Collegiate Athletic Association Championships, set for Nov. 17 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Friday, however, provided the stepping stone for the state meet with teams vying for a coveted spot. The top 14 men's and women's teams from the south advanced from the south while seven men's and women's squads moved on from the north. Qualifying individuals not on an advancing team also punched tickets.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RECAP
The American River men and Hartnell women, both ranked No. 1 in their respective 5CTCA Regional Coaches Polls, posted wins on Friday at Shasta College.
Peter Vo finished 10th and Logan Dodge placed 11th to lead ARC, which had all five of its runners among the top 15 scoring places to finish with 55 points. The Beavers outdistanced Hartnell (99) and College of the Sequoias (102) for the championship with Clovis, Chabot, Modesto and Diablo Valley also advancing.
Freshman Johnny Vargas of Santa Rosa took top individual honors, crossing the finish line of the 4-mile course in 21 minutes, 13.2 seconds. Ismael Ramirez of Sequoias (21:18.4) was a close second and was followed by Reece Proctor (Chabot, 21:22.3), Caleb Llorin-Fernandez (Monterey Peninsula, 21:26.8) and Patrick Olson (Hartnell, 21.27.5) in the top five.
Domination was the theme for Hartnell in the 5k women's race with the Panthers grabbing five of the top seven scoring positions to post a near-perfect 19 points; well ahead of runner-up Santa Rosa (99) and third-place Sierra (101). De Anza, Clovis, American River and Sacramento City grabbed the remaining qualifying team spots for the state championships.
Freshman Julia Gonzalez of Diablo Valley was a 10-second winner, finishing in 19:25.5. Monica Ruelas (19:35.3) and Daniela Salazar (19:40.3) paced Hartnell with the next two spots while Gaby Orellana (19:52.7) and Arelene Diaz Leal (20:05.5) or Hartnell rounded out the top five.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RECAP
L.A. Harbor won both individual and team championships in the SoCal Women's Championship at Cerritos Regional Park, giving it momentum heading into the state championships in two weeks. Sophomore Brenda Rosales Coria (17:15.1) finished 11 seconds in front of Moorpark's Samantha Barajas (17:26.6), who was second, to claim individual honors as L.A. Harbor's Olivia Quezada (18:09.0) and Cynthia Melendez (18:15.0) were sixth and eighth, respectively, to support her.
The Seahawks scored 53 points for first place, beating defending CCCAA champion Mt. San Antonio (110) and regionally top-ranked Glendale (122). Saddleback (133) and Moorpark (141) took the next two places and qualified for the state meet along with Riverside City, Ventura, Chaffey, Orange Coast, San Bernardino Valley, El Camino, Palomar, Bakersfield and Santa Ana.
Salvador Capetillo of Mt. SAC was a dominant winner in the men's race, averaging 4:45.4 a mile to finish first in 19:01.3, nearly 40 seconds in front of Carson Bix of El Camino (19:40.3) who edged San Diego Mesa's Stefen Rasmusson (19:41.8), Kibrom Elias (19:41.9) and Glendale's Marcelo Ramirez (19:42.0) for runner-up honors.
Mt. SAC tallied 59 points - helped by an eighth-place from Jose Melchor and 14th from Colby Penn. El Camino (97) placed second among the 28 teams, San Diego Mesa (109) was third, Glendale (14) took fourth and San Bernardino Valley (211) placed fifth. They'll be joined in Fresno by Santa Ana, Cuyamaca, Riverside City, L.A. Harbor, Cerritos, Cuest, San Diego City, Oxnard and Orange Coast at the state championships.
Complete results for each regional championships are available at the links above.