Trio Nearly Leads Panthers to Upset at Norcal Preview

Panther Men take a solid second place at Norcal Preview
Panther Men take a solid second place at Norcal Preview

 

 

After nearly a month of racing in the 2018 season, the Panthers were still searching for a definitive team leader for the championship portion of the season. Last week at home at Toro Park, Patrick Olson finished first for the Panthers but only third overall. This week, he found the unique layout on the campus of Shasta College to his liking and placed second overall in a season best 20:40 over the 4 mile course. The Panthers put all seven placing runners in the lead pack through 2 miles but lost contact beyond the first three runners from the halfway point to the finish. This would ultimately allow #5 state ranked American River College to take the team win 52 to 63. Through three scoring runners, the Panthers had the advantage with Olson in second, Alfredo Mejia, Jr. (20:53) in sixth, and Luis Perez (20:53) in seventh. With those three across the line, Hartnell held a 10 point advantage over the Beavers of ARC 15 to 25. The Panthers would have to wait for Jacob Niles (21:24) and Luis Meza (21:29) to finish in 23rd and 26th to complete their scoring. American River countered with their fourth and fifth runners in 12th and 15th. In order to win a third Northern California title in a row for just the second time in program history, the Panthers will need to find an answer for a tough one through seven group from American River College that finishes very close together. Freshman Luis Mendoza (21:43) and Andres Rodriguez (21:58) also competed well to complete the top 7 runners for the Panthers and enjoyed season best times.