The San Bernardino Valley College men’s cross country team saved their best race of the season for the CCCAA State Championships on Nov. 18.
Running loose and with confidence at Woodward Park in Fresno, the Valley men captured fourth place out of 21 teams with 156 points, 20 points behind third place LA Harbor. Mt. San Antonio College won the meet, scoring 60 points just holding off Riverside at 65.
“The guys got out hard and went for it,” said head coach Jim Ratigan. “I am so proud of this group of six freshmen and one sophomore. We rebuilt a team with talented freshmen and put ourselves right back into the mix for a top three finish. We fell a little short, but we left with a goal of getting back to the top next fall.”
Freshman Carlos de la Torre (Rubidoux Patriot) earned All-American status (top 14) with his eighth place finish at 20 minutes, 32 seconds over the four-mile course.
“Carlos came on strong the second half of the season. He is a hardworking young man with a bright future in running," said Ratigan.
Finishing second for Valley was freshman Michael Ramirez (Grand Terrace) at 21:12 for 31st.
“Michael was our number one runner the first two meets, but suffered an upper leg injury at Sacramento State,” said Ratigan. “Michael battled back to run his best race at state. I know he wanted better, but he is determined to get back up there with Carlos.”
Rounding out the scoring five for Valley were Humberto Guzman (Rubidoux) at 21:17 (38th), Eduardo Toris (Hemet) 21:20 (41st) and sophomore John Hernandez (Canyon Springs, Moreno Valley) 21:29 (47th). Mauricio Ramos (Big Bear) 21:39 (62nd) and Chris Bedolla (Apple Valley) 22:03 (89th) also competed for Valley.
The 2017 season was once again a successful one for the men’s program. They captured their 22nd straight conference title, finished in the top four at the Southern California Championships for the 12th consecutive year (9 titles and two thirds) as well as finished in the top seven at the state meet for the 12th straight year.