“It will always be a strong conference, so the more depth and talent you can have out there, the better off we can and will be,” said Lopez, who guided the women’s and men’s program’s to second- and ninth-place finishes, respectively, in conference last season. “I think our teams will be a lot stronger than last year.
“We will have more depth and talent in most phases with the men’s team. With the women’s team, we should see more success in conference and hopefully end up in the top three at the state meet.”
Until the state meet in May, there’s plenty of ground for the Vaqueros to cover during the next three-plus months. Glendale college’s teams will mostly have freshmen on board after both squads saw several key athletes graduate last spring in Tove Berg, Vivien Wadeck, Michael Flowers and James Poet.
“I think we will be better in dual meets,” said Lopez, who guided the college’s women’s cross-country team to a second-place finish at state last fall after the squad captured a state title in 2007. “We have a lot of talented freshmen on both teams, and it will just be a matter of coming along slowly and being ready by late-April.”
Berg capped her brilliant career at Glendale college with repeat state title victories in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races. Wadeck took second in the 1,500 and third in the 5,000 at the state meet.
While the duo might be hard to replace, it doesn’t necessarily mean the women’s team will be short on talent.
The distance runners will feature a strong nucleus that will include Katie Dunn and Justina Sadauskaite, who led the cross-country team to prominence along with Zitalic Ley, Rosa Del Toro, Bridgette Fernandez, Kristine Kaneich, Angie Gonzalez and Lidia Ferman.