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Behind van der Wyk's 3rd, Women's X-Country Advances To State As Team

Behind van der Wyk's 3rd, Women's X-Country Advances To State As Team image

Rarely does one runner have as much impact as Tracee van der Wyk made for the Pasadena City College women's cross country team on Friday at the Southern California Championships. Van der Wyk's All-Region sixth place finish catapulted the Lancers to reach their first team appearance at the CCCAA state meet in eight years.

Van der Wyk, from Temple City High, ran the 3-mile course at Mt. San Antonio College in a time of 18 minutes, 20 seconds. Despite not having another runner finish in the top half of the field, the Lancers qualified for the state meet in 17th place (18 made the cut). Van der Wyk's high finish allowed for PCC to make its first trip to Fresno as a team since 2001.

None of PCC's remaining runners would have advanced as individuals had it not been for van der Wyk's 6-point low score. Lidia Garcia crossed the line in 98th place at 21:05 with teammate Abby Read right behind her in 99th at 21:06. Next for the Lancers was sophomore Ashley Hernandez in 116th (21:40), then Rebecca Nunez in 120th (21:43). Marissa Morales rounded out the PCC squad in 141st at 22:20.

Nina Moore ran a blistering 17:17 to win the individual race and lead Glendale College to the regional championship win. 

MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY

For the eighth straight year, the Lancers did not qualify as a team for the CCCAA state meet.

Pasadena's 19th place finish at the SoCal Championships was right below the cutoff point as the top 18 teams advanced out of 28 teams that scored.

On the bright side, PCC sophomore Ernesto Rodriguez, who has been plagued by sinus problems throughout the season, ran his best race of the year, finishing in 22nd place individually with a time of 21:29 in the 4-mile race.

Freshman Wil Zentmyer was the next fastest Lancer in 80th place at 22:37. Both Rodriguez and Zentmyer qualified as individuals for the Fresno state meet.

The regionals became the final race this year for the following Lancers: Kevin Cano, 115th, 23:09,  Richard Zarazua, 125th, 23:25, McKinley Murphy, 130th, 23:33, Antero Barrantes, 159th, 24:00, and Herminio Flores, 187th, 26:03. All five are freshmen.

Southwestern's Dahir Mohamed won the individual race in 20:24 while San Bernardino Valley captured the regional team title.

PCC only lost out of making the meet as a team by 15 total points with Palomar just edging it for the 18th spot (446 points to the Lancers' 461).

The women's team and the male duo of Rodriguez/Zentmyer cap the 2009 season Saturday, November 21 when they participate in the CCCAA Championship meet at Fresno's Woodward Park. The women's 3.1 mile race begins at 10 a.m. with men's race following at 11 a.m.

[Photo--PCC women's cross country runners Lidia Garcia and Rebecca Nunez (right) are headed to the CCCAA Championship meet due to the team's 17th place finish Friday at the SoCal Championships, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/07/09
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu