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Women's Cross Country Highest SoCal Finish in 8 Years

Women's Cross Country Highest SoCal Finish in 8 Years image

The Pasadena City College women's cross country team continued its impressive team season by taking 13th place at the Southern California Championships Friday at Ontario's Guasti Regional Park. It is the highest team SoCal finish by the Lancers since taking 12th in the 2003 meet, and the performance allowed the Lancers to qualify as a team for the CCCAA State Championships.

PCC sophomore Elizabeth Lyons, an All-South Coast Conference top 10 runner, once again ran the Lancers best time at 19:30.1 to place 47th out of 198 racers. Lyons' mark was remarkable considering how much faster she ran in comparison to her race at the SoCal Preview Meet on the same 5-kilometer course last month. Lyons was 91 seconds quicker and ran faster than three other Lancers who placed ahead of her at the Preview meet.

Her rise to the top of the Lancers race chart is part of the reason why PCC is having its best women's harrier team season since the early 2000s. Lyons was one of three Lancers to break the 20-minute mark (none of the team reached that at the Preview meet) as freshman Diane Lombardi raced 59th (19:48.5) and sophomore Rebecca Nunez (19:58.4) was 69th. Next for PCC was freshman Arielle Barragan in 98th (20:33.9), followed by freshman Zahina Rios in 105th (20:39). Ironically, Rios was the team's top runner at the Preview Meet (36th overall) and ran 32 seconds slower.

"If we can get Rios out of her slump, we have a good shot at a strong team finish at the state meet," said PCC Head Coach Armand Crespo. "Each of our top four runners made big leaps in their times today. Elizabeth continues to set the pace. She's come a long way from her times as a freshman."

Non-scoring runners for PCC were sophomore Cassandra Lew (129th, 21:08.4) and freshman Tessa Chandler (130th, 21:09.5).

The team's success this year follows the greatest individual season by a Lancer women's runner when Tracee van der Wyk placed PCC all-time bests with second place finishes at the SCC, SoCal and CCCAA championship meets.

The women conclude the 2011 season on Saturday, Nov. 19 when they participate in the CCCAA State Championships at Fresno's Woodward Park course.

[Photo--Diane Lombardi (133) and Zahina Rios (136) in action for the Lancers at the SoCal Championships held in Ontario Friday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/04/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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