Team culture key for Cerritos College men and women cross country

Even though the 2016-17 season has not even started, both the men and women cross country teams are exactly where they need to be in order to have a winning season.

Head coach Bryan Ramos said, “We are definitely excited. We had our time trial, two weeks ago, and from what we’ve seen [we are right where we need to be].”

Women’s Cross Country

With a successful 2015-16 season behind them, the Cerritos College Women’s Cross Country team hopes keep the momentum going throughout the upcoming season.

Direct of Cross Country Christopher Richardson stated, “Last season was a power year for the women with some vary veteran leaders such as Marylu Pulido, Maria Orozco, Stephanie Perea. We took both the South Coast Conference individual title, which was won by [Pulido], and the team title over Mt. San Antonio College.”

The women started off with a seventh place finish at the Mark Covert Open earning 197 team points.

The rest of the season proved to be strong, placing in the top five in every regular season meet.

They took their first of two first place wins during the season at the Brubaker Invitational in Irvine. They finished with a team total of 47 points.

The team continued through the post-season earning a fourth place spot in Southern California Championships and fifth place in CCCAA Championships.

Sophomore Brianna Gill said, “We coud have done a little better. We got fourth [in SoCal] this year we are trying to get second, or at least third.”

Despite losing key runners at the end of last season the team’s roster still has talented strong runners to carry the team.

“The women also have some immediate contributors such as Raquel Hernandez (Downey High), Rebecca Harris (Buena Park High), Gabrielle Mendoza (Shurr High) and Sabrina Padilla (Montebello High),” Richardson state.

This year team is young but that is not a worry for the coaches or athletes.

“I see really great potential […] with these freshman,” Gill said, “I feel they can help us regaining our reputation.”


Men’s Cross Country

Much like the women, the men’s cross country team also had a fairly successful 2015-16 season.

With a roster of mainly freshman team had a slow, yet consistent, start to the season having issues finishing in the top five in overall team positions at meets.

“The men were a young talented group [last season] which we considered a building year,” Richardson stated.

However, the team finally picked up the pace at the end of the season earning fifth place in the team overall standing at the Brubaker Invitational.

They kicked off their post-season run by finishing third overall at the South Coast Conference Championships.

Following a successful conference championship the team was able to pull off a 12th place finish at the Southern California Championship, putting themselves in the position to compete for a state title.

The team itself finished 15th out of a total of 23 schools having earned a team score of 482.

“As a team, i think we did pretty good,” returning athlete Carlos Ramos said, “We kept pushing- i think we did good- hopefully we do better [this year.]”

Continuing growth will be key in order to have another successful season, as last years team saw some promise from some young freshman runners, who will be returning this year.

“We are returning most of [men] so thats gonna be our strong point,” said Ramos, “We have got a lot of […] leaders in our team.”

Along with the veteran athletes, promising rookies hope to add to the strength of an already powerful team.

“For the men, obtaining Christian Macias from Gardena High and a group of incoming guys from Shurr High (Abraxaz Sanchez in particular) add some major fire power to our large group of returners,” Richardson stated.

Even though the men’s team lost two of their top seven runners, the number of sophomores on the team will be the foundation that the team needs to succeed.

“We have alot more experience on the mens side because of all the returners,”coach Ramos said, “As far as what our out look is we, [have really good confidence.]”

Season Opener

The season begins for both teams on Friday, Sept. 2nd.

The teams will travel to Riverside to participate in the Lancer Invitational located at the Riverside City Cross Country Course.