Cross country competes at SGV Invitational

Seniors Millen Trujillo, Anahi Betart and Carol Wong and juniors Domnic Gonzales and Jessica Gallardo all placed top five in the San Gabriel Valley Invitational held at Mount San Antonio College on Saturday, Oct. 4. The racers faced temperatures entering the triple digit range and a course considered one of the most challenging in the nation.

“Mt. Sac is really important because a lot of people from school we’ve never seen come race there,” junior Huy Le said.

Trujillo and Gonzales were the two Mustang males who placed top five in the varsity male races, with time of 15:29 and 15:58 respectively. Gallardo, Betart and Wong were the Mustang girls who placed top five in the varsity female race. They clocked times of 19:07, 19:59, and 22:01 accordingly.

“Mt. Sac is a very challenging course, because theres a lot of hills. Compared to most of our other races it’s the most challenging,” said sophomore Jason Johnson.

The Mt. SAC course is 2.93 miles long and has three long and steep hills, which cover a distance of approximately half a mile.

“[The heat and hills] affect the morale a lot and it wears you down a lot quicker or faster it’s mentally taxing to keep going,” Le said.

As the day progressed the heat only grew, adding an extra factor for runners of later races to deal with. The temperature peaked around around noon at 101 degrees. The increasing heat and the steep hills made the race more strenuous than the average course.

“I ended up having to run in really hot conditions which made it a little bit more difficult to breathe. Since your breathing pattern is really vital to determining your performance when it comes to running, I wasn’t able to run my best,” senior Carol Wong said.

The Mustangs were overall disappointed with their results. The boys team placed 13th and the girls team placed 5th out of 20.

“[Mt. Sac is] probably the hardest meet around. It just gets tougher and tougher every year.
People get faster and more competitive,” Le said.

The Mustangs have a league meet on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at Bonelli Park.

“In order to achieve better performances in our next meet, our team can continue pushing through the hard workouts regardless of the heat. it’s getting more difficult to run fast times when it’s so hot out but as long as we all try our best to overlook that factor we can get our needed training in and be prepared for the next race,” Wong said.

by Shahar Syed, Staff writer

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