The Pirates' men's and women's cross country teams competed primarily against runners from four-year schools on Saturday at the Biola Invitational in Fullerton's Ted Craig Regional Park. The Pirate women were the top-finishing community college team, placing 15th of the 22 competing teams while the VC men came in 18th place overall. Olivia Burton continued to pace the women and Luis Duran moved up to lead VC's men's team in the race.
As they have been doing all season, Burton and Brieanna Tafoya finished the 5k run together. Burton placed 41st overall for 39 team points in 19:08 while Tafoya was 42nd (40 points) a second later. Other VC finishers included Gisele Ortega (158th, 21:30, 105 points), Cristina Cortes (193rd, 24:29, 123 points) and Liliana Gomez (214th, 31:12, 137 points). A total of 216 runners completed the course.
The Pirates placed 15th of the 22 competing teams, but they were the top finishing community college ahead of Glendale and Pasadena. Cal State San Marcos (NCAA Div. II) won the team competition with UC San Diego (NCAA Div. I) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (NCAA Div. III) coming in second and third, respectively.
Duran paced the Ventura men, completing the 8k course in 30:07, good for 149th place and 97 team points. The other Pirate finishers included Nick Villela (154th, 30:32, 101 points), Jake Turville (160th, 31:18, 104 points), Michael Sanchez (161st, 31:22, 105 points) and Gabriel Olivares (175th, 33:54, 111 points). A total of 193 runners began the men's race which was won by Cal State San Marcos, followed by Biola University (NCAA Div. II) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
"Running against almost exclusive four-year competition was a good test for the men," said head coach Tony Veney. "And running the 8k distance tacked an extra mile for their effort.
"I feel we will be ready to run more aggressively every time we step to the line for the rest of the year."
The Pirates will run next at the Southern California Preview meet at Mission Bay Park in San Diego on Friday Sept. 13.