News: Women's Cross Country Season Opens: Nunez, Lombardi Excel At Covert Classic
After a 10th place finish at last year's CCCAA State Championships, Pasadena City College and women's cross country head coach Armand Crespo wanted to build on that strong end to the 2011 season. While the team has traditonally had one standout runner, Crespo feels he has now two top harriers in returning sophomore Diane Lombardi and incoming freshman Jessica Nunez.
Lombardi finished 56th overall at last year's state meet while Nunez was a prep superstar. At South Hills High, she was the 2007 San Gabriel Valley Tribune Runner of the Year and twice she was the San Antonio League champion. She finished as high as sixth overall at the CIF Southern Section championships.
At the season-opening, Cal State Fullerton Mark Covert Classic held Saturday morning at Brea's Carbon Canyon Park, the pair had outstanding 2012 debuts. Going up against top 4-year university racers and community college talents, Nunez placed 39th overall out of 163 runners, and ninth best among the community college runners with a time of 20 minutes and 0.5 seconds. On the 5-kilometer course, Lombardi was not far behind in 51st spot at 20:21.6 (14th for CC participants).
Loyola Marymount University won the event and PCC placed 13th out of the 16 teams that scored at the meet. Cerritos and Moorpark Colleges were tied for the highest team finish for CCs in fifth place.
While having two strong runners is an asset, Crespo indicated the importance of runners who can score in the Nos. 3 to 5 slots.
"The key for us is seeing how well we can get our secondary runners to improve and then score higher each meet," Crespo said. "Jessica and Diane are two really talented racers, but we have a few others that are going to move up the chart as the season progresses."
The following are the individual finishes for the rest of the Lancers at the Fullerton meet:
86th place--Christina Shamirian, freshman, Burbank High, 21:00 (Shamirian was the All-Burbank City Meet champion last year as a prep senior and 16th at the Pacific League finals).
96th--Arielle Barragan-Steimer, returning sophomore, 21:16.9
112th--Tanya Hossain, freshman, Polytechnic High, 21:57.8
[Photo--PCC frosh runner Jessica Nunez (LANCERS 140) gets out near the front early during the Mark Covert Classic held Saturday in Brea, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 09/02/2012