Olson Takes Panthers to Title at Toro

Sophomore Patrick Olson places third overall to lead the Panthers to victory.
Sophomore Patrick Olson places third overall to lead the Panthers to victory.

For a second time this fall, Chabot College pushed Hartnell Men’s Cross Country to victory at the Toro Park Invitational on Sept. 28.

 At the Tour de Cuesta on Aug. 31, the Panthers prevailed by 10 points, and at Toro County Park the margin was the same.

The Panthers have been patiently awaiting the return of sophomore Patrick Olson to his old form, and his third-place finish in 21:25 hopefully signals the start of a championship season. Olson, who won both the Lou Vasquez and La Positas invitationals last fall, began training late this year and struggled early in the season. At Toro, he looked much like the runner who last year was a CCCAA state 1500m qualifier and eighth-place all-region runner.

Olson led four Panthers inside the top eight versus three in the top four for Chabot.  Luis Perez (sixth, 21:35), Nick Merillana (21:39) and Jacob Niles (21:48) all recorded Toro Park bests for their finishes. Freshman Victor Nambo remained consistent, placing 14th overall to seal the team victory.

The Panthers also had freshman Luis Meza (22:23) and last week’s top performer, Alfredo Mejia, Jr. (22:27), finish 16th and 17th overall for added depth against the Gladiators.

A first-year program at Clovis Community College scored 49 points and could threaten for a top-three trophy at the Northern California Regional Championship.