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Distance dominates for GCC

Track and field: Selve, Nicolas highlight strong day for Vaqueros women at 54th Mount San Antonio College Relays.

April 14, 2012|By Andrew J. Campa

WALNUT — Months after winning a state cross-country championship, the Glendale Community College women's distance squad is still setting the tone, just in track and field.

Members of the Vaqueros' title squad wrapped up a couple of victories and a few impressive times, highlighted by Alyssa Selve and Cecilia Nicolas, in leading GCC at Saturday's 54th annual Mt. San Antonio College Relays.

For the aforementioned Selve, running at Mt. SAC was a return to normalcy for the sophomore from Canyon High, who was competing in only her third race since suffering a stress fracture in her foot at the beginning of the year.

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"I'm glad to be getting back to running," Selve said. "I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm happy with my progress."

Selve resembled a seasoned champion in winning the 1,500-meter run in a time of 4 minutes, 51.12 seconds, which topped her seasonal best and seeded mark of 4:52.17.

"I was a little nervous because it rained yesterday and it was a little windy today," said Selve, who hopes to break her personal-best mark of 4:36 reached last season. "And it was a little tight, so I ran to the outside."

Selve was boxed in through her first lap and caught up to the competition shortly after concluding her second lap by utilizing the outside lanes.

Selve was joined in a pack that included teammates Grace Zamudio (third, 4:53.04) and Angela Martinez (fourth, 4:53.26).

"There was a wind that you had to fight, but when you've been racing for a while, you know that happens," Martinez said. "I wasn't really happy with my time, so I'll just have to do better next time."

Nicolas further showed off Glendale's distance program by romping to a victory in the women's 1,500.

Nicolas entered with a seeded time of 11:39.59 and blew that mark out with a personal-best and near school-record time of 11:11.33.

The mark was over 18 seconds faster than race runner-up Sarah Howard (11:29.92) of American River and just missed the school record by exactly one second.

A little later, Nicolas finished second in her heat and eighth overall in the 800 in 2:22.77.

Lilia Asserian turned in the best place and time for that race, earning third in 2:16.03.

Third place proved popular, as Nohemi Martinez (18:23.43) notched a bronze in the women's 5,000-meter run and Justice Shank was second runner-up in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 2 1/2 inches.

Mario Castillo was the Vaqueros' last top-five placer, as she was fifth across the finish line in the 800 with a mark of 1:56.53.

Sophomore Arthur Papazyan delivered the only men's victory, winning his heat of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 57.71, which was good for 16th overall.

"I've struggled through a lot of injuries this year, so I'm just trying to cut down on my times," said Papazyan, who entered with a seeded mark of 58.31. "If I can continue to take some time off and get down to the 54's, I'll be happy."

Other top-10 finishers included Isaac Diosdado, who finished sixth (9:58.45) in the men's 3,000 steeplechase; Mizrael Mendez, who was also sixth (15:41.71) in the men's 5,000; Kurt Lutz, who was 10th (15:55.81) in the men's 5,000; Alexander Nelson, who took 10th (4:02.93) in the men's 1,500 and the Glendale women's 400 relay team of Flor Cardena, Asserian, Shank and Nandi Watson, who raced to ninth in 51.92.

andrew.campa@latimes.com

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