Racing to the most outstanding finish in program history, the College of Sequoias Women's Cross Country team captured second place in the California State Community College Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday November 19. Not only was the second place finish the best ever for COS, the combined team time was over four and a half minutes faster than any COS team has run in the state championships on the 5K Woodward Park course. Average time for the first five Lady Giants was 18:57. In the last thirty years, no Northern California team has won the State Championship, and only two other NorCal teams have placed second prior to this meet: West Valley College in 1997, and Hartnell College in 2015.
Alyssa Block (Exeter HS) and Jordyn Zorn (Monache HS) once again led the team. Alyssa, this year's NorCal Champion, finished in second place overall in the 199-racer field of 28 teams. Her time of 18:05 makes her the second-fastest Lady Giant ever on this state meet course that has been used for 20 years.
Jordyn, who was second at the NorCal Championships, placed 5th overall and recorded the 3rd-fastest time on the Giant list in that same 20-year comparison.
Providing outstanding depth for the team and helping make that second place finish possible were Ariana Jasso (Redwood) 29th (19:21), Jewel Jasso (Redwood) 39th (19:29), Elizabeth Sartuche (Tulare Union) 40th (19:30), Sarah Reid (Exeter) 54th (19:44), and Kelsay McClendon (El Diamante) 104th. These five athletes averaged an improvement of 32 seconds each since the conference meet on this course three weeks ago.
Glendale College repeated as the State Championship team with 42 points. In finishing second the Lady Giants scored 107 points ahead of Mt SAC (141), Riverside (159), Saddleback (168), and College of the Canyons (205).
"Our ladies team had a truly remarkable season, taking home first place awards at all eight invitationals and championships prior to the State Meet. It took a great effort by one of the best teams in State Championship history, Glendale College, to keep the Giants from being state champions," said Coach David Bronzan. "Alyssa and Jordyn both finishing in the top five in the state was a dream come true."
In the Men's 4-mile competition, the COS racers went out fast at the gun and raced very aggressively, as they knew they would need to in the strong state meet competition, a field of over 200 competitors. Leading the race for the Giants was Luis Gonzalez (Golden West) with his best race of the year and an improvement of almost 2 minutes from his early season race on this course. Adam Gonzalez (Redwood), our consistent number-one finisher for the past two years, who had not fully recovered from an injury suffered at the NorCal Championships, attempted to stay with the leaders, but was unable to compete at the level he is capable of. His painful efforts still placed him as our number two finisher. Completing the team effort were Arturo Ochoa (Exeter), Rogaciano Ortiz Silva (Tulare Western), Gary Austin (Corcoran), Matthew Villarreal (Sanger), and Adrian Solis (Dinuba). These five racers had an average improvement of 57 seconds per man on this course compared to earlier in the season. The Men's Team place 17th in the 28-team field.
"We are very proud of our Men's Team," says Coach Bronzan. "They were ranked 4th in NorCal and 13th in the State this year. They raced very aggressively, and although it did not work out as we had hoped, if you are not willing to 'go for it', then great results never happen. They went for it … they raced hard … we can't ask more than that. It will pay off in the future."