The Riverside City College cross country programs hit the trails for the Golden West Invitational in Central Park, CA Friday morning and continued to make waves throughout the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). Both sides placed in the top three with the women placing second overall (1:43.30) and the men hauling in third place (1:54.08) despite the men's side experiencing controversy in the final times.
Sophomore Sarah Hollis (Hemet HS) continued to pace the Tiger's pack by finishing second overall in the field. For Hollis, her second-place finish marks the third-consecutive meet where she has placed in the top-three individual standings. She finished the meet with a time of 19:57.8 which included an average mile mark of 6:25.5.
Sophomore Robin Valencia competed in her first meet of the season and finished with a time of 20:22.1 to earn her fourth place. Sophomore Samantha Chapa (Martin Luther King HS) was not far behind with an overall mark of 20:35.4 to earn her eighth place. Sophomore Carissa Gomez (Citrus Valley HS) rounds out the top-10 with an overall time of 20:46.4.
The men experienced controversy during their run due in part to numerous runners making the incorrect turn at the beginning of competition, thus forcing them to run a further distance than half of the competitors.
"This rarely happens in cross country," said Head Coach Jim McCarron. "It is very frustrating because you do not get to learn from the race. We have to chalk it up as another workout for the week."
Sophomore Alec Hall (Norco HS) was the top finisher for the Tigers by placing second overall and crossing the finish line at a time of 22:03.1. This is the highest finish for Hall on the season thus far.
Sophomore Melvin Esteva (La Sierra HS) was the next-best finisher for Riverside with a mark of 22:42.8 to earn him 10th place, while freshman Nathaniel Steele (Murrieta Valley HS) placed 21st overall at a clip of 22:57.6.
The Tigers will continue action on Friday, October 6th at the Brubaker Invitational. The meet is set to begin at 9 a.m.