OXNARD, Calif. - The College of the Canyons men’s cross country team knocked off five-time defending conference champion Glendale College on Thursday afternoon at the Western State Conference Championships in Oxnard. Not to be outdone, the women came in third place.
With the strong finishes for both teams, the squads will compete in the COC-hosted Southern California Championships on Nov. 8 at Central Park in Saugus, for a chance to compete in the state championships in Fresno.
This marks the first time since 2007 that the men’s team has won a conference title, with Glendale winning the following five consecutive championships. The Cougars edged the Vaqueros by six points, 43-49, and had their five top runners finish in the top 15. Santa Barbara came in third with 86 points, followed by Cuesta in fourth, at the 12-team meet.
The Cougars were led by freshman Rodrigo Ornelas who came in second place overall with a time of 20:40.45 on the four-mile course. Santa Barbara’s Ian Roberts came in first, slightly ahead of Ornelas in 20:32.34.
Freshman Robert Pion was the fourth runner to cross the line in 21:01.10, followed by freshman Anthony Janaslani (21:25.38) and freshman Alex Johnson (21:26.46), who came in 10th and 12th place, respectively.
Sophomore Chase Wheeler turned in a personal-best 21:29.09 to be the fifth scorer and come in 15th place overall. Freshman Joel Estrada tallied a season-best time with his 22:03.28, good for 23rd place.
The women’s team scored 110 points in a highly competitive 14-team race. Glendale won the conference title with 56 points, while Moorpark edged COC with 105 points and Bakersfield came in behind COC with 118.
Freshman Dominiqe Dowell ran a personal record, while breaking the 20-minute mark for the second time this season with her time of 19:17.27, good for fifth place. Freshman Yesenia Razo also turned in a sub-20 minute run, coming in at the 11th spot in 19:52.50.
Freshman Diana Barrera came in 21st (20:12.42), followed by freshman Nicole Casillas in 34th place (20:31.63) and freshman Amanda Meredith closely behind her in 39th place (20:38.70) on the 5K course. Sophomore Kasey Cass (20:51.56) and Erica Hernandez (21:29.89) wrapped up the scoring for the women.
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