Paced by six freshmen and one sophomore, the San Bernardino Valley College women's cross country team ran what coach Eric Abrams called a "solid race" as the Wolverines earned their fifth consecutive trip to the state championships in Fresno with a 12th place finish at the So Cal Finals.
Alyssa Benavides (Redlands) once again led the way for the Wolverines, finishing in the top 25 with a time of 20 minutes, 16 seconds. Freshman Brandy Ayala (Big Bear) placed 57th with a time of 21:13, followed by four more freshman: Lilly Armendariz (92nd in 22:24), Kiani Fernandes (23:19), Darilyn Hernandez (23:21) and Vanessa Arlt (24:36). The only Sophomore, Yessenia Lorato Rubio, clocked in at 25:03.
Coach Abrams said, "With a few girls running a little banged up from injury, it was a performance that I am very proud of and a qualifying moment that I will never forget."
Another highlight for the Wolverines at this race was their final team time. Running at the same course as the So Cal Preview earlier in the season, San Bernardino Valley was able to shave four minutes off its team time from the earlier meet at the So Cal Finals.
San Bernardino Valley's top finish at the state meet was a 12th in 2013. Abrams has high hopes his team can match that.
"I wouldn't put a top 12 finish past these freshmen," he said.