Glendale Community College track and field athletes capture conference titles

Track and field: Nelson leads way for women's team with two crowns; Mendoza wins one for men's squad.

April 29, 2014|By Charles Rich,

While competing in the Western State Conference championships, the members of the Glendale Community College men’s and women’s track and field teams had something more to fend off besides their opponents Friday.

With a howling and frigid wind blowing throughout the majority of the meet at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, many of the Vaqueros were able to successfully conquer the opposition and the conditions.

It turned out to be a big day in particular for Glendale women’s distance runner Lizzy Nelson, who won a pair of events and helped the Vaqueros win the overall team competition.


Nelson captured the 1,500-meter race in 4 minutes 53.07 seconds and the 5K in 19:36.03 for the Vaqueros, who took first with 168 points.

“The wind was just real bad,” said Nelson, who won the 10K conference crown on April 18 at College of the Canyons with a mark of 39:55.03. “It was blowing so strongly at all of the runners and it turned out to be the hardest part.

“Nobody wanted to take the lead in either of the races. I had to make my move where it wasn’t too windy and then make the kick in the last 300 meters.”

Nelson was among a contingent of Vaqueros to advance to the Southern California prelims, which will be held May 2-3 at Riverside College. The Southern California Championships will take place May 9-10 at Riverside and the state meet will occur May 16-17 at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

Glendale’s men’s team took third with 131 1/2 points, behind Canyons (145) and West L.A. (139). Glendale’s Jorge Mendoza won the steeplechase in 10:24.43. Mendoza was the lone Vaquero to win an event in the men’s meet.

On the women’s side, the Vaqueros also got first-place finishes from Lizette Gonzalez in the 800 (4:57.21) and Justice Shank in the high jump at 1.71 meters.

Like Nelson, Gonzalez said the prevailing winds proved to be frustrating.

“You had to be able to overcome it,” said Gonzalez, who placed second in the 1,500 in 4:57.21. “I was able to make my move in the last 300. I was able to get a lead before going up against the wind toward the finish line.”

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