The Panther men were shorthanded in Modesto for the MJC Pirate Invitational Friday and were handed a team loss by 2 points but took consolation in a much improved team spread for the first five runners. The Panthers traveled without top 10 runners Luis Mendoza, Luis Meza, and Elliot Ruiz. DeAnza would place three runners in the top 10 and best the Panthers 50 to 52. With Diablo Valley College taking the top three spots, the Vikings also scored 52 points.
For the men, Jesus Avalos towed a pack of runners that included freshmen Isaac Gensel, Frankie Maciel, Rigo Garcia through 3 miles where they caught up to teammate Juan Gutierrez III. Gutierrez was making his season debut after nearly three years away from the sport. Gutierrez transferred to Hartnell College after competing for one season for San Jose State University. The five would chase a pack of four DeAnza runners along with the three from Diablo Valley College. Avalos closed the best out of the give to take sixth overall in 20:52 catching all but one of the DeAnza runners. Gutierrez would hold on for tenth (21:00) right alongside teammate Gensel in the same time. Maciel was twelfth in 21:06 with Garcia one second behind in thirteenth and 21:07. All five Panthers would finish in 15 seconds and inside the top 13 overall. Freshman Jiovanni Garcia (21:44) and Joseph Loredo (21:49) finished 22nd and 23rd overall to complete the Panther seven.
The Panther men will host the Northern California Preview as part of the Toro Park Invitational on Friday, October 4th. The men's 4 mile race will be held at 4:15pm.