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Van der Wyk Earns Highest SoCal Finish in PCC Women's Cross Country History

Van der Wyk Earns Highest SoCal Finish in PCC Women's Cross Country History image

Despite a slow start, Pasadena City College women's cross country sophomore runner Tracee van der Wyk posted the highest finish in school history at the Southern California Championships by placing second overall in the 5-kilometer race at 18 minutes, 54 seconds. The meet was held Nov. 6 at East Mission Bay Park in San Diego.

Last season, van der Wyk was sixth at the SoCal meet. She again was beaten by the same runner as at the South Coast Conference Championships, Danielle Low of LA Trade Tech, who raced to the individual SoCal crown on an 18:27 time. They were the only two runners out of 194 total racers to eclipse the 19-minute mark.

The day started out on the wrong foot for the Lancers' women's team as it learned it would not have enough runners (five minimum) to score as a squad. PCC had hoped to build on its state 15th place team finish of last year. In the SoCal Preview Meet, PCC finished in 11th place on Oct. 9 at the same San Diego course.

Pasadena's Marissa Morales did hit the line in 93rd place at 21:48 which allowed the sophomore from Diamond Bar High to qualify as an individual at the upcoming CCCAA State Championships.

After the two state qualifiers, freshman Natasha Nicholson was 161st (24:10) as the only other PCC runner to participate. PCC Head Coach Armand Crespo cited that "both injuries and family commitments" were responsible for the team's lack of depth. Southwestern College captured the team regional crown as 28 teams scored places in the meet.

The PCC men's team also saw its season end with a disappointing 23rd place out of 28 scoring teams racing in the SoCal meet. Pasadena's only state qualifier was sophomore Will Zentmyer, who expected to finish higher than his 23rd individual finish at 21:33. 

The Lancers next top finisher came in 128th place--Enmanuel Vera (23:24). The rest of the PCC men's team placed as follows: Esteven Zarazua (149th, 23:42), Herminio Flores (151st, 23:42), Alejandro Esparza (168th, 24:02), Chris Le (182nd, 24:41), and Oscar Hernandez (194th, 25:31). Overall, 207 runners participated in the SoCals, but just Zentmyer finished in the top half from Pasadena.

San Bernardino Valley College won the SoCal team title while David Cardona of El Camino College was the individual champion with a time of 20:22.

Van der Wyk, Morales, and Zentmyer will run at the 2010 CCCAA State Championships Saturday, Nov. 20 at Fresno's Woodward Park.

[Photo--Tracee van der Wyk (far left, 515) in action during the SoCal Championships in San Diego, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/09/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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