Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Men and Women’s Cross Country eyeing top spot in conference

The men and women’s cross country team is closing in on the new season, with both sides placing in top 15 in the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships last season.

Cerritos College cross country will host three very important meets this season, the Southern California Meet, the South Coast Conference Championships and the Southern California Championships at Don Knabe Community Regional Park.

The last time Cerritos College hosted a major cross country meet was in 2011.

Head coach Bryan Ramos said, “To take on the responsibility, to represent our conference is really important [to us].”

Along with the responsibilities of hosting the championship meets, the team has set goals of doing well in conference.

The men’s side have five returning sophomores with a nucleus of freshmen, the team is large in size.

Ramos said, “On the men’s side we’ve got a lot more talent, we’re deeper this year. We have a lot of local talents.”

He continued, “Right now we’ve got a group of freshmen that will play a key role in our top seven.”

Freshman Pablo Calderon feels like he’s improved since the first day in his strength and stamina working in the weight room and through the blazing sun.

“We help each other out… we have a really good team connection with each other and I think we’re ready,” Calderon said.

Calderon believes if the team is healthy and keep up the good work they will make a mark for the program this season.

Sophomore Jamal Awad is one of this season’s captains along with sophomore Adrian Casas.

Both runners are hoping to lead the men’s side to many victories this coming season.

Awad said, “It’s hard, keeping a big team under control, but with [each other’s help] and the coaches we can be better.”

He believes the men’s team is ready for the first meet to come, and this being the last season for Awad it means his performance will dictate where he will land afterward.

Casas feels really good about the size of the men’s team and the relationships the runners have already built together.

“I’m so proud, these guys are amazing, the freshmen are not just to themselves and they go for it,” said Casas on behalf of being named one of the captains.

Awad and Casas are doing the most to lead the team and make sure they’re in tip-top shape when season starts to roll around.

The women’s team have two returning sophomores and five incoming freshmen.

“We don’t have the numbers, training them is going to be a little bit different because we’re not a high mileage team,” Ramos said.

The women’s focus this season, according to Ramos, is the team’s strength and not the mileage.

“We’re mostly a mid-distance squad, we don’t have the true 5k, 10k runners, like the men. That’s the difference between the men and women’s,” Ramos said.

Both sides have been practicing constantly preparing for the upcoming season, although it is still weeks away.

Ramos thinks the first meet will be a tough opener for the runners as it an 8k, 4.8 miles, rather than the usual 4 mile races.

“It’s mostly going to be against 4-year universities, so it’s a good opener… it’s not a break it or make it meet, it’s a meet that we’re gonna train through,” Ramos said.

The team trains in the afternoon, in the hot weather to build toughness.

“We train in the heat, we’re gonna race in the heat. We have to get used to it,” Ramos said.

When it comes to specific team improvements the head coach believes the women’s side can do better in pack-running, although it will take some time to build this habit.

“We haven’t been tested, that first race is going to test how we can handle racing, it’s different when you’re training because there’s no pressure, but at the end of the day they have to be able to handle the pressure,” Ramos said.

Freshman Vanesa Garcia decided to come to Cerritos College for the running and nursing program.

“My hopes for this season is to qualify to state… we look strong and solid, so I wanna go as far as possible,” Garcia said.

Sophomore Monica Bautista is returning for her last season, and is hoping to be one of the top girls this season.

“We have a job, to lead the girls, set a good example and motivate them, but we’re not here to be above them,” said Bautista on being named one of the captains this season.

Bautista is hoping to get both mentally and physically stronger throughout the season, and is hoping the team can all get along and work together.

Sophomore Debora Lopez is another returner and agrees that working together will definitely help the team a lot this season.

Lopez praises the coaching staff for being caring about the team’s health when it comes to training.

She is aiming for top three, as she was no where near the top three last season.

Men and women’s cross country have their first meet on Sep. 1 at Carbon Canyon for the Mark Covert Invitational.

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About the Contributor
Carlos Ruiz
Carlos Ruiz, Managing Editor
Carlos Ruiz is the Managing Editor for Talon Marks. He admires photography, and even launched his own website and has dedicated his Instagram to his work. His dream job is always changing, but most recently, he would like to travel the world taking photos, or something having to do with photojournalism. He’s hopeful to continue working on a newspaper staff at the CSU he decides to attend.  
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Men and Women’s Cross Country eyeing top spot in conference