Glendale college will get another chance to win its first state title since 1980 when it competes at 10 a.m. Saturday in the state championship at Woodward Park.
Glendale college’s men’s team, which last won a state championship in 1998, will then follow around 11 a.m.
The Lady Vaqueros look to be peaking at the right time after recently winning the Western State Conference and Southern California championship races.
“With all of the workouts that we have done lately, we are peaking,” said Glendale college Coach Eddie Lopez, whose team is ranked No. 1 in California and Southern California, according to gocollegetrack.com. “We’ll be ready, and we’ll approach it more business-like than in past years.
“The meet will be close. We will have to run one of our best races. Everybody will have to be up to par.”
The Vaqueros will turn to sophomore Tove Berg, who hasn’t lost a race this year and has won two consecutive conference crowns and a Southern California title. Berg finished second last year at the state meet to secure first-team All-American honors.
Joining Berg will be sophomore Vivien Wadeck, Desiree Ruiz, Justina Sadauskaite, Brenda Santana, Zitlalic Ley and Amanda Barreto.
Berg is set to return after missing the Southern California meet due to personal reasons.
“Having Tove and Vivien up front will be big for us, along with Desiree,” Lopez said. “But our four, five and six girls will still have to come through.
“If we run in packs, then we will do well. We won’t force the pace. We will run in packs. It’s one of the best teams I’ve had.”
Orange Coast College has won eight straight state championships.
With respect to the men’s race, Lopez said he’d settle for a top-10 finish. The Vaqueros placed 16th at the meet last year.
Glendale college finished second in conference this season behind College of the Canyons before it placed 10th at the Southern California Championships at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.
“Realistically, a top-10 spot would be good,” Lopez said. “We just didn’t run that well in the Southern California Championships.
“We should have run better. We can do better. We have to go up there and go for it.”
The top runners for Glendale college figure to be Glendale High graduate Joshua Edmonson, Luis Castaneda and Ruben Hernandez.
The top teams who figure to battle for the state championship are San Bernardino Valley College, defending state champion American River College of Sacramento and Fresno City College. San Bernardino Valley College is ranked No. 1 in the state.