Alyssa Benavides became the first San Bernardino Valley College woman's cross country runner to earn the All-American designation thanks to her 11th place finish at the CCCAA State Championships on Nov. 18 in Fresno.
Benavides finished the race in a time of 18 minutes, 58 seconds, one second behind the school record on the state championship course at Woodward Park in Fresno held by Fernanda Rodriguez. Benavides was as far back as 30th early on, and worked her way back through the pack to finish in the top 11.
"Alyssa's personality is contagious," said head coach Eric Abrams. "She worked so very hard this season, even through injury. Every step of the way, she believed that she would run well and so did I."
As a team, the Wolverins finished 16th in the field. Brandy Ayala was the next Wolverine to finish, crossing the line at 20:11, good for 68th place. Lilly Armendariz finished 118th in a time of 21:13, with Darilyn Hernandez finishing 138th at 22:19 and Vanessa Arlt rounding out the scoring five in a time of 22:51 for 146th. Kiani Fernandez finished alongside Arlt at 22:51 (clocking in .3 seconds later) and Roxana Lopez was 150th at 23:04.
"I am so proud of our entire freshman team, who rose to the challenge and finished a respectable 16th place," Abrams said. "We knocked off Oxnard College and Orange Coast College to finish 11th among southern California representatives."