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Banner day for Grace Zamudio, Glendale Community College's men's track and field team

Track and field: Sophomore women's runner sets mark in 1,500-meter race. Men's team captures conference title.

April 26, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

MOORPARK — In her two seasons as a member of the Glendale Community College women’s track and field team, Grace Zamudio has enjoyed plenty of banner performances.

At the Western State Conference finals at Moorpark College on Friday, Zamudio added another one with a record-setting performance.

Zamudio won two individual races, including recording a school-best time of 4 minutes 28.86 seconds to win the 1,500-meter race, to lead the Vaqueros to a tie for second place.

“It’s a special accomplishment and to do it in my favorite event is special,” said Zamudio, who eclipsed the record of 4:33 by Shari Ewing in 1981. “I missed it by one second [at the Mount San Antonio College Invitational on April 13].

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“This whole week, I’ve been working a lot on speed workouts. From the gun, I normally run pretty conservative. The coaches have been working with me on getting out much faster with the starts.”

Zamudio, a sophomore, also captured the 5,000 in 18:07.10. She earlier won the 10,000 in 39 minutes 32.04 seconds during the conference prelims April 19 at Ventura College.

In the men’s portion of the meet, Glendale received first-place finishes from Nick La Croix in the hammer and Kurt Lutz in the 5,000 to lead the Vaqueros to their first conference championship since 1989.

La Croix turned in a mark of 117 feet 01 inches. Lutz clocked 15;18.56 in the 5,000.

Glendale Coach Eddie Lopez praised Zamudio for her latest accomplishment.

“She’s unbelievable,” Lopez said. “It was great to see her go out there and get the school record.

“A lot of people have tried to break that record for 32 years. With Grace, it’s just about her focus and ability to tolerate the work load. That puts her in position to succeed.”

Glendale’s women’s team had 10 individual athletes qualify for the Southern California Regionals, which will be held Saturday at Antelope Valley College. The top six finishers in each event automatically qualified for the Southern California Regionals.

Glendale received a first-place finish from Nafasi Mataei in the 100 in personal-best time of 12.16 seconds.

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