The VC men's and women's cross country team ran at the Western State Conference Preview at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo Friday with the women finishing a strong third, and the men coming in eighth. Adan Cruz came in 10th in his first meet of the season to lead the Pirate men while Olivia Burton continued her strong campaign with a runner-up finish for the women.
The Pirate women came in third place as a team behind a tight race for the top spot. Glendale claimed first place with 41 points followed by Moorpark with 43. VC was third with 70 points while Canyons was a distant fourth with 128.
Burton covered the 5k course in a time of 19:33 to claim the runner up spot while Tatiana Garcia (20:13) was sixth in the 78-runner field. Other Ventura finishers included Brieanna Tafoya (18th,21:47, 17 team points), Isabelle Egbert (23rd, 22:25, 21 points), Cecilia Cano (28th, 23:16, 24 points), Maria Elizarraraz (32nd, 23:44, 27 points), Diana Saldana (35th, 24:04, 29 points), Alejandra Contreras (36th, 24:04) and Karen Reyes (46th, 24:51).
The men's team finished eighth out of 11 teams on a challenging 4-mile course. Glendale placed first with 35 points, followed by Moorpark, Oxnard, West LA, Cuesta, Canyons, Bakersfield and the Pirates. Cruz, making his first start of the season, ran the 4-mile course in 22.37 and showed flashes of his former self from last season when he came in sixth at the state meet. Everado Magana (30th, 23:52, 27 points), Mauricio Flores (48th, 24:45, 43 points), Johnny Ordaz (54th, 25:04, 47 points), Luis Barriga, (61st, 25:23, 53 points), and Luis Duran (77th, 26:44, 64 points) rounded out the Pirate scorers.
"I thought we could have been top six today, but the eight place finish is not a major setback," said men's head coach Tony Veney.
"There were only 10 points separating sixth, seventh, and eighth, and I believe we haven't seen our best team running this season."
The Pirate harriers get a two week break to train and prepare for the WSC Championships Friday October 19 hosted by Citrus College at Bonneli Park in San Dimas. The women's race starts at 1:00 pm followed by the men's race at 2:00 pm.