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Glendale Community College's Grace Zamudio rules Southern California twice

Track and field: Sophomore standout captures a pair of championships in Southern California Regionals on Saturday.

May 11, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

After she stepped on to the all-weather track Saturday, Grace Zamudio realized the weather conditions would be conducive while looking to further elevate her decorated racing career.

There was less wind and more heat around Antelope Valley College for the Southern California Championships, paving the way for the Glendale Community College women’s track and field star to gobble up some more individual accolades while also looking to punch her ticket to the California Community College Track and Field Championships.

Zamudio got the job done twice, winning the 1,500- and 5,000-meter races. Zamudio earlier won the 10,000 on May 4 in 39:15.48 at the same venue.

“The wind was pretty calm, but it was pretty hot and I like to run in the heat,” said Zamudio, who clocked 4 minutes 40 seconds in the 1,500 and 17:48.42 in the 5,000. “I like this kind of weather because I’m used to it.

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“It’s great to be able to go out and win all three of the events. I’m pretty happy with the way I ran the 5K. I got out strong in the 1,500 and maintained a good pace throughout. Those are the kind of things I’m looking for when I go out there.”

Among the other Glendale women’s athletes to advance to the state meet, which will be held at San Mateo College on Friday and Saturday, were Elizabeth Nelson and Lilia Asserian. Nelson clocked 4:48.44 to take fifth in the 5K and Asserian placed third in the 800 in 2:16.78.

The Vaqueros finished eighth in the women’s competition with 42 points. Riverside took first with 119 points.

Glendale Coach Eddie Lopez said Zamudio, who earlier won Western State Conference championships in each event, dazzled again Saturday.

“She’s the greatest distance runner that we’ve ever had at GCC,” Lopez said. “She’s confident and she knows how to run a race properly.

“She took the lead and ran away. We are happy for her.”

Zamudio will run in the 10k on Friday, followed by the 5K and 1,500 on Saturday.

The Vaqueros had four athletes qualify for the state meet in the men’s portion of the meet. Glendale took eighth in the team competition with 21 points. Riverside won with 220 points.

Issac Diosdado took third in the 5K (15:18.90). Edwardo Vasquez was third in the 1,500 (4:02.32). Quaid Vuncannon had a mark of 43.90 meters in the discus to grab fourth place. Nick La Croix had a distance of 50.28 meters to finish sixth in the hammer.

“We would have liked to have had more people going up to state,” Lopez said. “We had some people on both sides miss out, but that’s just the way it goes.”

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