Cross country teams test the course


600 athletes from community colleges across Southern California held a practice run at Tecolote Shores North at Mission Bay Park on
Sept. 19 in preparation for the Southern California Championship meet. Photo credit: Celia Jimenez

Celia Jimenez

Tecolote Shores Cross Country SoCal Preview.

Men and women cross country athletes from Southern California community colleges met on Sept. 19 at Tecolote Shores North in San Diego to check out the course of the Southern California Championship that will be held there on Nov. 7.

The preview was organized by Cuyamaca Cross Country head coaches for men and women: Tim Seaman and Thom Hunt. The event gathered more than 600 athletes and 30 community colleges at Mission Bay Park.

This practice run is very crucial for all the athletes and their teams because they will get familiar with the course and prepare for the regional meet. On this race they will know which teams and athletes will qualify for the state race.

“It (the SoCal Championship) is a very important race because only the top 14 teams will get to move on (to the state championship),” Seaman said.

The Socal preview hold two sections for men and women with a total of 4 races. The invite section is for the best seven athletes of each team that are the faster runners, an open section is for the rest are of their athletes. This standard provides the opportunity to all athletes to expose themselves to college level races and and for coaches to track their athletes performance.

The men’s Knights team is made up of mostly freshmen and has only six members. The team is working hard to become more cohesive and consistent in their training in order to increase their chances to qualify.

“It is a tough sport. It requires a lot of work,” Paul Greer said.

The Knights participated on 4-mile CC Invite were Freshmen Ishmael Fernandez place 162 with a time of 25:01. On the other hand, the women’s team competed on the 5K run open placing third place in teams with a total of 68 points and an average time of 27:05. Sophomore Kelsey Engler ranked 35 on this race with a time of 25:21 and freshmen Daisy Arteaga on 36 with a time 25:24, according to Direct Athletics meet results.

The women’s team participated on the open section because all but two runners are novice on sports and cross country and they are developing their competitive skills.

“It was better for them to be on the open race, because was more appropriate (for them)” Head Coach for Women’s cross country Marco Anzures said.

Cross country athletes normally train every day, but Greer’s team is lacking this consistency and they are working on closing this gap.

“This season, we are honestly starting from the bottom, but despite that we have a solid team. We all support each other. We just have to improve on every day being there and just working harder,” Esteban Corpus-Cipres added.

Last year, only five cross country teams from San Diego County classified for the next round: men and women from Cuyamaca and Southwestern colleges and women from Mesa College.

For this year, Seaman has higher local expectations.

“I want as many teams from San Diego to qualify onto the state meet as possible,” Seaman said.