Cross country teams qualify for SoCal Championship

Story by Malik Reeves photos by Dylan Keith

Eric Estrada widening the gap between other schools at the South Coast Conference.

The Viking women and men’s cross country teams were lead by two top finishers from their groups to qualify for the SoCal Championships.

The women’s team placed 6th with a total time of 1:57:40 and a score of 154 points.

The women’s top finisher for the Vikings was sophomore Lilyanna Figueroa who came in 16th place with a time of 19:43.1.

Figueroa talked about the toughest stretch of the race, “The whole thing I think it was definitely the end because you’re completely exhausted by that point but you have to keep pushing and once you see that clock give it your all,” Figueroa said.

Not having not raced in almost a month, she talked about her approach going into the conference championships.

Lilyanna Figueroa running in the South Coast Conference.

“I wanted to run my fastest time here, so mainly I focused on getting out there, getting a good race out there and getting my legs moving fast again,” said Figueroa.

The men’s team also placed 6th with a total time of 1:50:26 and 149 total points and their top finisher being sophomore Moises Marquez, who came in 11th with a time of 20:37.1.

Marquez talked about how his team was viewed as the underdog and how went in that day wanting to prove people wrong.

“Everyone here is expecting us to be in the last three groups that won’t qualify, so today’s plan was to score the least amount of points for our team by staying in the front and so everyone else had to follow what their most capable of to run their fastest,” Marquez said.

The men’s cross country team take off from the starting line.

Head Coach Julio Jimenez talked about how he thought his team fared against their competition,  “We did okay, we finally had some improvement and we should have two guys whose personal best should be top 10 all time in the schools history as far as times and I think the rest of the team improved on their personal best as well,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez went on to explain how they had an idea of where they were going to finish and how they could improve for next week’s meet.

“I think overall we knew we were going to finish and we did, it would’ve been nice to have a couple of upsets, and with an extra week of training and rest are team can definitely look a lot better.” Jimenez said.

The men and women’s cross country teams will compete next Friday at Don Knabe Park on November 2 in the SoCal Championships.