Lady Giants NorCal Champions, Men 5th

Lady Giants NorCal Champions, Men 5th

November 4, 2016 ~ Northern California Championships ~ Sierra College

Only the top teams from each conference qualify to compete in the NorCal Cross Country Championships, and teams can only bring their top seven racers, so this really is a race of the best of the best in Northern California.  And on this day, on the very difficult Sierra College course, the College of Sequoias Men's and Women's Cross Country teams delivered two really outstanding efforts.

The first race of the day saw the Lady Giants totally dominate the race.  They placed all seven of their racers among the top nineteen finishers.  Leading the way again for the team was the dynamic duo of Alyssa Block and Jordyn Zorn. They claimed the first two places with the two fastest times ever recorded on the course.  Pushing the pace right from the gun, they quickly broke away from the other 100 racers and continued to increase their lead for the entire 5K race distance.  Sisters Ariana Jasso and Jewel Jasso placed sixth and seventh to add to the onslaught.  Adding the finishing touches to the total team effort were Elizabeth Sartuche (14th), Kelsay McClendon (18th), and Sarah Reid (19th).  The Women's team scored 30 points in running away from the 15-team field, averaging times of over a minute faster per racer than their previous race on this course.  DeAnza College was 2nd with 107 points, and Hartnell 3rd with 110 points.

The Men's team entered the race ready to battle three of the top 8 ranked teams in the state.  The Giants were ranked 13th state-wide.  And battle they did!  Racing their best meet of the season the Giants were right with host American River (3rd ranked) and Las Positas (8th ranked) as they passed the 3-mile mark of the 4-mile course.  Adam Gonzalez, who has been the Giant's number one finisher in every race for the past two seasons, was racing the best race of his life. During the very hilly third mile he put forth a great effort to move from 12th to 5th place among the 117 racers.  But with less than 300 meters to the finish line, Adam, completely spent, collapsed and was unable to record a scoring place on the team.  His race exemplified the commitment that he was willing to make for the team to place as high as possible.

With Adam down, Rogaciano Ortiz Silva (15th) and Arturo Ochoa (16th) led the way to the finish line with their best races of the year.  Rounding out the team's fifth place finish were Adrian Solis (33rd), Matthew Villarreal (37th), Gary Austin (45th), and Miguel Flores (61st).  The COS team's top five finishers in this race averaged times that were over 50 seconds faster per man than when they raced this same course earlier in the season – an outstanding effort by the entire Giant squad.

After the races were completed, Alyssa Block was selected as the Northern California Women's Racer of the Year, and Coach David Bronzan was named NorCal Women's Coach of the Year.

The Women's and Men's teams will complete their season at the State Championships to be held at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 19.

Courtesy of DyeStatCAL, here are two post race interviews of Alyssa Block and Jordyn Zorn:

Alyssa Block interview click here

Jordyn Zorn interview click here