The SBVC men’s cross country ventured north to the state capital for their third meet of the season. Competing at the Capital Classic hosted by Sacramento State, the men’s team faced their stiffest competition of the season. Not only did they race 8 kilometers (4.97 miles), but they also ran against some of the top Division 1 and Division 2 programs on the west coast in a field of 227 runners.
Chico State took the team title (70-87) over CCAA rival Cal Poly Pomona. The Valley men ran to a 16th place team finish out of 22 teams. In the process, they defeated D1 schools Santa Clara and Fresno State and D2 schools Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus and Hawaii Pacific. The Wolverines also defeated the UC Davis club team.
With six of the seven Valley athletes running their first ever 8K, the transition to the longer race was tough, but a great learning experience. Leading the charge was Carlos De La Torre (Rubidoux Patriot) who clocked 26:08. Following close behind was Eduardo Toris (Hemet) 26:24, Michael Ramirez (Grand Terrace) 26:31 and Humberto Guzman (Rubidoux) 26:46. The lone sophomore, John Hernandez (Canyon Springs, Moreno Valley), rounded out the scoring five at 26:58. Also running well were Chris Bedolla (Apple Valley) at 27:32 and Fernando Zuniga (Arroyo Valley, San Bernardino) 27:48.
When analyzing the results by grade level, SBVC was the first school of the 22 competing to have 4 true freshmen finish the race.
“The guys went out hard and competed,” said head coach Jim Ratigan. “The extra mile makes things tough when you are used to a four-mile distance. Overall I was very proud of their performance. We had a gap of 50 seconds between our first and fifth scorers which was awesome! We have work to do as the season has seven weeks remaining. We have a solid young group who are getting better every week. Our goal is to be on the podium (top three) at both So Cal and State,” said Ratigan.
Valley returns to action on Friday, Oct. 13 at the San Bernardino Soccer Complex hosting the San Bernardino Valley College Invitational. The women’s race starts at 10 a.m. with the men set to go at 10:45 a.m.