Ventura College Athletics

2019 VC Cross Country Review

2019 VC Cross Country Review

Coming off two consecutive Top-10 finishes at the CCCAA State Championships, the Pirates' women's cross country team came into the 2019 looking to build on that success. Meanwhile the VC men were looking for a return to the state, their final destination in 2017. It was another competitive, interesting and fun season for the Ventura College cross country teams.

Sophomores returners Olivia Burton and Brieanna Tafoya led the way for the Pirate women from the beginning.  In the team's first four meets against community college competition, VC finished first or second as a team with Burton and Tafoya each finishing in the Top-5. The Pirates came out on top in the Ventura Invitational and the Bakersfield Invitational while finishing in the runner-up position at the Oxnard Invitational and at the Western State Conference Preview. 

Along the way Isabelle Egbert had a Top-5 finish at Ventura while Gisele Ortega and Diana Saldana each finished in the Top-5 at Bakersfield.    The postseason was no different for the Pirates as they finished third in the conference championships and seventh in the SoCal Championships. Behind stellar performances by Burton and Tafoya, VC finished sixth at the CCCAA State Championships, the third consecutive Top-10 for the program. Burton  turned in her best time of the year at state, finishing in the runner-up spot. She also was crowned the SoCal champion and was the second in the WSC.  Tafoya capped off her season with a third place finish at state after coming in 21st at the SoCal finals.

The Pirate men seemed to be snakebit from the start as they battled injuries in their quest for for a return to prominence. Freshman Michael Sanchez was one of two runners to compete each time out for the Pirates, leading the team in three of the final five meets, including the WSC Championships and the SoCal Regionals. Luis Duran also competed in all the outings for the men, crossing the finish line first for the team twice, including at the WSC Preview meet. Nick Villela le dthe Pirates in the first two meets of the year and Jake Turville turned in the fastest time once during the season.

Women's head coach Melody Axtell and her staff announced Burton as the Women's Cross Country Most Valuable Runner and Michelle Hamm as the team's Scholar Athlete. Men's coach Tony Veney named Sanchez as the team MVP.

VC Women's Cross Country 2020 VC Men's Cross Country 2020
CCCAA State Finish - 6th SoCal Regional Finish - 25th
SoCal Regional Finish - 7th Western State Conference Finish - 9th
Western State Conference Finish - 3rd Team MVP - Michael Sanchez
All-Americans Coach's Award - Luis Duran 
Olivia Burton, Brieanna Tafoya  
All-WSC 1st Team  
Olivia Burton, Diana Saldana  
All-WSC Honorable Mention  
Gisele Ortega  
Team MVP - Olivia Burton  
Scholar Athlete - Michelle Hamm