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Men's Cross Country Season Opens: Baby Steps For Revamped 2012 Squad

Men's Cross Country Season Opens: Baby Steps For Revamped 2012 Squad image

After a disappointing 2011 season, Pasadena City College men's cross country team head coach Armand Crespo went to work this offseason in an attempt to improve the program.

Crespo has brought in two runners from the CIF State Meet runner-up Arcadia High School in the Apaches' No. 5 runner Francis Lee and Juan De La Rosa. He also recruited Brendan Greene (La Canada High), who finished third overall at the Rio Hondo League finals.

Crespo is hoping that the influx of talent will result in getting the Lancers to qualify for the CCCAA State Championships as a team. Last year, the team finished 25th at the Southern California Championships and only had Brian Sacripanti (a returning sophomore for 2012) to represent in the state meet with a 101st individual finish.

"PCC was a very powerful program in this sport during the late 1990s and early 2000s," Crespo said. "It's been tough to not get us back to a level of excellence that those teams set the bar at. Will this team be able to get us out of our rut? We'll see how it progresses and if anything we should be far improved from last year. We're on a meet to meet basis as far as how we can see where we need to go."

At the season-opening Cal State Fullerton Mark Covert Classic held Saturday morning at Brea's Carbon Canyon Park, Lee performed his collegiate debut by placing 58th overall, 13th among community college racers with a 27 minute, 22.5 seconds time over the 8-kilometer course. Pasadena placed 14th out of 18 colleges, most 4-year university schools. A field of 208 participants took part.

De La Rosa placed in the top half with an 85th place at 27:47, good enough for 21st among CC runners. Greene placed 110th at 28:19.5.

The following are the other PCC finishers at the Fullerton meet:

132nd place--Alfredo Folgar, freshman, Northview High, 28:52 (Folgar is a reserve in the U.S. Marine Corps)

140th--Faustino Gil, freshman, Taft High, 29:07

162nd--Oswel Caal, freshman, Mountain View High, 29:43.7 (Caal and Folgar both ran on the 2012 PCC men's track and field team.)

163rd--Abraham Esparza, freshman, Rosemead High, 29:55

185th--Jack Serna, freshman, Bassett High, 30:48

188th--Andy Garcia, freshman, Arcadia, 31:29.6

192nd--Chris Paidimukkala, freshman, Eagle Rock, 32:00

On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Lancers return to action in the SoCal Preview Meet at Costa Mesa's Fairview Park.

[Photo--Francis Lee made his collegiate debut as the Lancers top runner Saturday at the CSUF Mark Covert Classic in Brea, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]

Release Date: 09/02/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu