GCC passing the baton

Men's and women's squads look to maintain progress while meeting change.

February 20, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk,
  • Robert Weathers, far left, leads the GCC men's and women's track and field team in a recent practice.
Robert Weathers, far left, leads the GCC men's and… (Tim Berger, Los…)

GLENDALE — Departures from both the women's and men's track and field teams of Glendale Community College leave some big shoes to fill. Vaqueros Coach Eddie Lopez remains confident, however, that his current squads, which began their season on Saturday at the Pomona-Pitzer All Comers meet, boast enough fast feet to do just that.

Four of the six All-American honorees who made headlines for Glendale's women's program at last year's state meet, where the Vaqueros finished fifth, are gone, with reigning 1,500-meters state champion Rosa Del Toro and distance standouts Nina Moore and Angie Gonzalez, as well as sprinter Samantha Bogatz, all having moved on.

But Karen Rosas, who was runner-up in the 5K and 10K at state last year, and Vivian Ochoa (fourth in the 5K at state) are back to head up a strong sophomore class that will be helped along by some promising freshmen.

"She's looking really good," Lopez said of Rosas, who is a co-captain. "She's our No. 1 girl. …She's probably favored to win the 5K and 10K [at state].


"We don't have the depth that we had last year, but we're just as strong in the distance. …Our middle distance and distance are really strong. These are big points for state and we're going to be a big-point team at the end of the year where our kids are able to double at the state meet and get some points."

The other captain is sophomore sprinter Rita Assoian, a Glendale High graduate, who competed for the Vaqueros as a freshman before losing her sophomore year to injuries. Assoian will compete in a variety of events, including sprint relays, the 100, 200 and long jump.

The Vaqueros' distance and middle distance corps will also include returning steeplechasers Catlin Kelly and Diana Sanchez and Laura Pluemer, as well as freshmen Alyssa Selve, who is set to run the 800 and 1,500, and Angie Martinez, who is coming off Western State Conference runner-of-the-year season in cross-country.

"We're trying her in the steeple chase, but if it doesn't work, the 10K or 5K is going to be for her," Lopez said of Martinez, who placed ninth at California Community College Cross Country Championship in November. "She has good range. She'll score in the 1,500, too, in conference."

Glendale High graduate Daniela Pollard returns to compete in the jumps and sprint relays along with sophomore sprinter Carissa Porter, who will be one of the Vaqueros' top athletes in the 100 and 200.

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