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Van der Wyk Takes 4th, PCC Women X-Country Race 15th At State Meet

Van der Wyk Takes 4th, PCC Women X-Country Race 15th At State Meet image

It was the return of women's cross country at the state level for Pasadena City College Saturday. The much-improved Lancers rode a fourth place individual finish by freshman Tracee van der Wyk to take 15th place as a team at the CCCAA Championship Meet held at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Van der Wyk had easily the most successful post-season ever by a women's cross country runner by finishing in the top 6 in each of the South Coast Conference, Southern California Regional, and state meets. Van der Wyk ran an 18:08.11, blowing past conference champion Lenore Moreno of Mt. San Antonio (18:15, fifth place) as the top runner in state from the South Coast.

Unlike at the SCC and SoCal meets, the other top Lancers runners showed improvements at the season-ending CCCAA meet. Lidia Garcia (Pasadena High) placed 78th overall out of 199 total runners with a time of 20:15.66. Rebecca Nunez also cracked the top 100 in the 97th spot at 20:33.16.

Abby Read crossed the finish in 142nd (21:16.7) and lone sophomore Ashley Hernandez was 163rd at 22:00. Marissa Morales placed 171st at 22:22.9. Hernandez did better as a freshman in 2008 when she was the only Lancer participating in the state meet and took 118th.

The Lancers scored 393 points and were third among conference teams behind just Mt. San Antonio (third) and LA Trade Tech (sixth). Glendale won the state title behind Nina Moore's first-place run of 17:47.

"We showed tremendous improvement, especially from our No. 2 and No. 3 runners and we again received a fabulous run by van der Wyk," said PCC Head Coach Armand Crespo. "It's been a while since we ran as a team for the women (2002), so to finish in 15th and have a fourth overall individually is a testament to the hard work put in by our runners. We have a nucleus to do very well next season."

Van der Wyk's All-State run is the best run by a PCC runner at the state meet since Aidita Gibson took ninth at the 1996 championships. The 2002 team placed 14th as a team.

Van der Wyk and Nunez are both Temple City High graduates.

Top 5 at CCCAA State Championships: 1. Nina Moore, Glendale, 17:47; 2. Kelly Barmann, Cuesta, 17:57; 3. Kimone Hewitt, Orange Coast, 18:05; 4. Tracee van der Wyk, PASADENA, 18:08; 5. Lenore Moreno, Mt. San Antonio, 18:15.

[Photo--Tracee van der Wyk in action in the CCCAA Championship meet at Fresno's Woodward Park, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/21/09
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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