Friday was Olivia Burton's day in San Diego. The Pirates' sophomore from Foothill Tech High School ran faster than anyone else in the Southern California Regional Championships at Mission Bay Park to bring home the gold. She covered the 5k course in a time of 19:21, holding off her rival from Moorpark by two seconds to capture the title. As a team, the VC women continued to recover from injury and illness to finish seventh overall, qualifying them for the CCCAA State Championships in two weeks.
Ventura totaled 213 points for their seventh place finish. Glendale won the event with 58 points followed by Saddleback (107), Riverside (131) and Mt. San Antonio (152).
Brieanna Tafoya was the second finished for VC, coming in 21st overall in a time of 20:35. Gisele Ortega was next, the 46th finisher in 21:45, followed by Michelle Meugniot in 68th (66 team points) with a mark of 22:26. Other Pirate runners included Alisann Tolosa (83rd, 22:49, 79 points), Cristina Cortes (131st, 24:27, 140 points) and Alexandra Sanchez (147th, 25:48, 140 points). A total of 183 runners competed in the qualifiers-only post-season event.
Meanwhile the Ventura College men had their season come to an end in the regional championships. Michael Sanchez was the first Pirate to cross the finish line, coming in 141st, covering the 4-mile course in 24:49. Jake Turville was next in 146th, just eight seconds behind, followed by Pierson Reynolds (160th, 25:44), Noah Perez (165th, 26:05) and Luis Duran (167th, 26:26).
"The men hung in all season and being able to make it to the regional final was their competition goal," commented head men's coach Tony Veney.
The Pirate women have an additional two weeks to recover and train before they take on the best in the state at the CCCAA Championships in Fresno on Saturday Nov. 23.