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Glendale Community College women's cross-country wins ninth WSC title in a row

Cross-country: Nelson leads women to crown, while men's team has streak broken.

October 24, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

OXNARD — High hopes and a winning tradition for the Glendale Community College cross-country program begin with Western State Conference titles.

Those hopes were, at least, somewhat dashed Thursday afternoon under gloomy skies at Oxnard College.

Though it wasn’t their best performance, the GCC women’s team easily prevailed in winning a ninth straight WSC championship, but it was the men’s result that left a bitter conclusion to the day for the Vaqueros.

GCC’s men’s squad’s string of conference crowns was halted at five, as College of the Canyons edged the Vaqueros, 43-49, roughly 40 minutes after the GCC women defeated runner-up Moorpark, 56-105.

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“It was close. With 800 [meters] to go, we were probably up by a couple points, but they kicked and we didn’t,” said Vaqueros Coach Eddie Lopez of the finish to the men’s race, which concluded with GCC and COC exchanging the lead three times over roughly the final mile. “[Canyons] beat us in the last minute. [Canyons] raced today, those guys were ready.”

Elizabeth Nelson led the way for the women’s team, taking silver in the women’s 5,000 in 18 minutes 54.97 seconds, roughly 11 seconds behind winner Rachel Naumann of Moorpark (18:43.99).

The race was run over a rather unfamiliar Oxnard course that began with 800 meters around the track before a flat course that carried out over grass and dirt roads and rather narrow turns. The Vaqueros took a look at the course on Saturday to familiarize themselves, but times, for the most part, were unspectacular.

“We went into it thinking it would be [a fast course], but it was weird, because the times didn’t really match up with that,” Nelson said. “The plan was basically to just defend our conference title. There wasn’t really a strategy.”

Following Nelson for GCC was Glindyll Mancia in seventh at 19:23.7 and then Alejandra Quintero at 12th in 19:55.73.

“Alejandra ran well,” Lopez said.

Wrapping up the scoring five for GCC was Terese Villafuerte (15th, 19:58.22) and Caitlyn Selve (20th, 20:07.71). Glendale’s quintet came across the finish before any other team’s first four runners and before all but one squad’s top three.

“I think we ran OK,” Lopez said of the women.

Nelson, who finished 16 seconds in front of the third-place finisher, and Naumann were the only two runners to tally sub-19 times.

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