Las Positas College played host to its first ever cross country meet at its Livermore campus in preparation for future hosting of conference and regional events. The Hartnell College Panthers came out with two seconds place team finishes and were lead by six top 7 individual placings. Their only opponent came in the form of NCAA DIII UC Santa Cruz who won both the men's and women's team competitions.
Freshman Patrick Olson and Ricky Esqueda placed in the top two spots but the Panthers couldn't overcome five Banana Slugs in the top 12 and were outdistanced 26 to 39. UCSC is currently ranked #5 in the West Region for NCAA DIII programs. Olson completed the 4.06 mile course in 21:03 with Esqueda right behind in 21:09. Sophomore Sergio Coronel (21:39) finished in his customary third runner position in tenth place. Jonathan Saldana (22:14) and Luis Perez (22:20) were the fourth and fifth scoring runners. Sophomore Christian Aldape (22:23) and freshman Alfredo Mejia, Jr. (22:40) were the final two runners in the top seven for the Panthers.
For the ladies, Yvette Tavarez did much of the early work along with teammates Arlene Diaz Leal and Leslie Oseguera. A trio of Lady Banana Slugs from UCSC would pull away over the final mile of the 5k course but the Hartnell women finished all together along with fast improving sophomore Jocelyn Cervantes. Tavarez (20:23) crossed the line in fourth, Oseguera (20:30) enjoyed her best race of the 2017 season in fifth, Diaz Leal (20:31) in sixth and Cervantes (20:43) would pick up the final top 7 t-shirt award in seventh. Freshman Monica Ruelas completed the team scoring in ninth (21:19). Panthers placed six in the top twelve to match UCSC but came out behind 24 to 31 as the two were the only two teams represented in the top 12. Freshman Lauryn Orozco (21:31) and Maria Aceves (21:47) rounded out the top seven. Freshman Christina Shimabukuro was the only Lady Panther to not compete.
The Panthers will enjoy a short week and head to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Thursday, September 21st for the Lou Vasquez Invitational. Women's 5km race will be at 3:30pm and men's 4 mile at 4:30pm.