Cross Country team runs toward improvement

RUNNING STRIDES - Karen Espinoza and Melissa Dixon get into condition for the upcoming cross-country season.

Elizabeth Parra/TM

RUNNING STRIDES – Karen Espinoza and Melissa Dixon get into condition for the upcoming cross-country season.

Veronica Campos

The Cerritos College men’s and women’s cross-country team competed for the first time last week in the Southern California Championship Preview in Lancaster.

According to head coach Jeff Clingan, the scrimage was “very slow.” There were 28 teams, 154 runners in total.

For the women, the top two runners as recorded by Clingan were sophomore Karen Espinoza and freshman Mercy Wedi.

As for the men, sophomore Paul Vaca and freshman Marco Armenta were the top finishers.

Clingan said, “The freshman seemed a bit scared. They’re not used to seeing so many runners as compared to high school competition.”

For both the men and the women coach Clingan says it’s a very young team, and probably better than last year’s.

He said, “My goal is to close the gap between the runners’ times, for example my number one runner and my seventh runner.”

This weekened the Falcoln runners will be heading up to Fresno for an invitational.

There they will be competing against teams up north.

According to Clingan, it is far too early to predict if they will make it to finals.

“It’s a close call. We’re about a month away to see what will happen.”