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Glendale Community College track and field flexes its muscle at Mt. SAC Relays

Track and field: Vaqueros receive dominating victory, record-setting performance at Mt. SAC Saturday.

April 13, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

WALNUT — It was a day of exceeded expectations for the Glendale Community College track and field team at Saturday’s community college edition of the 55th annual Mt. San Antonio College Relays.

Maybe no one came in with more acclaim and lived up to that subsequent billing than did Glendale sophomore Grace Graham-Zamudio.

The state leader in the 1,500-meter run superseded her California-best time of 4 minutes, 36 seconds by winning the event in 4:34.47, which was just off the meet record time of 4:33 set by Phoenix’s Trina Leopold in 1985.

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“During the week, we do a lot of speed workouts and when I get out ahead and don’t have anyone close by, I think back to workouts,” said Graham-Zamudio, whose mark is second nationally. “I stick to my own pace.”

Graham-Zamudio found competition through the first two laps from Pasadena City College’s Arielle Barragan-Steimer in running to an 800-meter split time of 2:31.4, with Barragan-Steimer close behind.

Yet, the speed proved too much from Barragan-Steimer, who fell off around the 900-meter mark and left Graham-Zamudio to herself.

The void for second, however, was eventually filled by fellow Vaquero Elizabeth Nelson, who took the silver in 4:46.88, good for sixth in state and 10th in the nation.

While Glendale sophomore Nicholas La Croix took fourth in the men’s open hammer throw, his finish wasn’t as important as his distance.

The Arcadia High product ended with a toss of 174 feet, 9 inches, which left La Croix in rarified air as the sophomore broke the previous school of 172-2, set by Antonio Dobbins in 1984.

“That was amazing to set a school record,” La Croix said. “When I woke up this morning, I felt good. I got some good sleep and knew that today was going to be a good day.”

La Croix became the first Vaquero male in over a decade to set a school record. Even so, La Croix is hoping for more.

“To be honest, I’m happy to break the record since it’s old, but really I’m going for my own achievement,” said La Croix, who also finished sixth (46-01 1/2) in the shot put. “I’d love to get 180 plus.”

Perhaps Glendale’s Lilia Asserian will be next to break a school record as the sophomore took second in the open 800 run in a time of 2:15.19, which is a little less than a second off the school mark of 2:14.20.

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