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Cross Country Newcomers To Be Tested In 2011

Cross Country Newcomers To Be Tested In 2011 image

The Traci van der Wyk Show ended last year, a two-year run that featured the highest individual placings by a Pasadena City College women's cross country runner in school history. No one is following that closely to her speedy footsteps in 2011, but PCC Head Coach Armand Crespo feels he has some worthy runners on both Lancers teams this season. 

On the women's side, Crespo returns sophomores Cassandra Lew, Elizabeth Lyons, Natasha Nicholson, and Rebecca Nunez.

His 12-runner freshman class is paced by Diane Lombardi from Crescenta Valley High. Lombardi was 12th among community college runners and 65th overall out of 212 total runners at the Cal State Fullerton Season Opener meet held Saturday morning. Lombardi ran a time of 24 minutes, 40.9 seconds in the 6-kilometer race.

PCC took 16th place out of 20 teams competing. Mt. San Antonio, Glendale, Orange Coast, Long Beach City, Moorpark, and El Camino College Compton Center were the other community colleges competing against four-year university competition.

Freshman Zahina Ross (Bassett High, La Puente) was the next fastest Lancers runner in 72nd place at 24:52. Lyons was 91st (25:13), Nunez took 133rd (26:08), and Lew 140th (26:27). The rest of the PCC runners in order were: 168th-Arielle Barragan (Gabrielino High, 27:33), 171st-Tessa Chandler (Burroughs HS, 27:52), 181st-Michelle Escamilla (La Serna, 28:39), 184th-Nicholson (28:51), 195th-Melissa Hadloc (Silverado, 29:58), 199th-Andrea Mejia (San Marino, 31:11), and 209th-Jennifer Portillo (Birmingham, 33:57).

"Rios is a runner who can make a huge impact as she also has a strong academic record," Crespo said. "Lombardi was a talented 800 meter runner in track and field, and was an improving cross country runner by her senior year in high school. I expect our women's and mens' teams to crack the top three in conference this year."

Crespo's PCC men's team has a smaller 12-runner roster in 2011, including returning lettermen in Robert Carbajal, Luis Dorantes, Chris Le, and Danny Verdin. The freshmen class is led by Brian Sacripanti, from Maranatha High, who ran a team-best 123rd place at the Fullerton Season Opener meet. Sacripanti ran 28:16.3 in his first collegiate race on the 8-kilometer Carbon Canyon Regional Park course.

Le took 133rd (28:27), Angus Leung (Temple City High) placed 172nd (29:07), Hamilton Ran, from Arcadia High, ran 189th (30:12), and Taylor Toyotome, also from Arcadia, finished 210th (31:37). PCC placed 18th out of 19 squads and eighth of nine community colleges. Other PCC runners on the 2011 roster that did not participate were freshmen Jose Garcia (San Gabriel), Julio Garcia (Montebello), and Oscar Hernandez (Montebello).

"Sacripanti is an untapped talent, who like the graduated Will Zentmyer, should excel at a rapid pace for us," Crespo said. "We're not deep, but we hope to make some noise in the conference."

[Photo--Chris Le is a returning men's cross country runner from Rosemead High.]

Release Date: 09/03/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu