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GCC track and field looking for long-distance success

Glendale Vaqueros hope their depth leads to deep postseason runs for both squads.

February 08, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Sophomore Grace Zamudio received All-American honors last year after she finished second in the 5,000-meter race and third in the 10,000 last spring at the California Community College Track and Field Championships.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Sophomore Grace Zamudio received All-American… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

With depth and a promising freshmen class, there's plenty of optimism surrounding the Glendale Community College men's and women's track and field teams.

The Vaqueros, who will begin their season Feb. 16 at the Pomona-Pitzer All Comers Meet, figure to use their depth to contend for individual Western State Conferences titles with an eye toward challenging for the conference team championships.

“We feel like we have the talent to do some damage, from conference to state,” said Glendale college Coach Eddie Lopez, who guided the men’s and women’s cross-country squads to second-place finishes at state in November. “Because we have more depth, it means there a better chance at scoring a lot more points.

“We feel like we can get at least seven to 10 athletes all the way to state.”

The Vaqueros will once again feature a lineup rich in distance runners on both teams. Lopez said both teams will likely be stronger in numerous field events, further providing the Vaqueros with an edge.

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The women’s team, which finished third in conference last season, will be led by sophomore Grace Zamudio, who received All-American honors after she finished second in the 5,000-meter race and third in the 10,000 last spring at the California Community College Track and Field Championships at Cerritos College after capturing the 10K at the Southern California Championships.

“She’ll again be one of our top runners,” Lopez said. “I think it’s possible she can win state titles in the 5K and 10K.”

Among the other athletes who figure to make contributions for the Vaqueros are sophomore captains Lilia Asserian, who achieved All-American status after taking sixth in the 800 at the state meet last season, and Charlene Quintanilla in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000. Asserian will also take part in the 4x100- and 4x400 relays.

“Lilia is one of the top 800 runners in the state,” said Lopez, who saw the women’s team place second in the Southern California Championship and fourth in state last season.

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