Ruelas Just Misses All-American in 10k

Hartnell female standing on podium second from the right
Sophomore Monica Ruelas improves on her place as a freshman to earn a fifth place medal this year

Sophomore Monica Ruelas competed in the 10,000 meters in the 2018 CCCAA Championship under completely different conditions to this year's championship. Having placed eighth at the regional final a freshman, she was bumped into the CCCAA final after scratches from runners who had placed higher. Given the opportunity, Ruelas managed to place ninth overall and run a personal best of 41:48.90 to complete her first year of running for Hartnell College. Fast forward one year later, Ruelas had already posted the top mark for 10,000 meters in Northern California and placed second overall at the regional championship. Having the choice to pass on the event and focus on her other two qualifying events, the former Gilroy Mustang chose to compete in all three starting with the 10,000 meters on Friday.

Ruelas ran in a large group of women for most of the first 16 laps before a group of four broke away. Giving chase, Ruelas closed to within less than 2 seconds at the bell lap of Sophia Cortina of Moorpark who was running in the final All-American spot. Ruelas would think she had an additional lap when she had really completed the race. Cortina would finish in 39:03.54 and Ruelas at 39:07.82. Ruelas would move up four spots from her freshman experience in the race and earn her first CCCAA State Track & Field medal. Her time would bump her to sixth best all-time and one of the rare sub 40:00 performers for the 25 lap race. Freshman Isabelle Torres also competed placing twelfth in 41:43.19, significantly slower than her regional qualifying time of 40:18.97.