Oct 10, 2017
Toro Park (NorCal Preview) 10/6/17
The Vikings faced tough competition and rose to the occasion last Thursday at the Toro Park Invitational (Nor Cal Preview). The Men's team ran a great race placing 3rd behind Hartenell and Los Positas, respectively, and managed to finish in front of NorCal power house American River College. The Men's team looked to Freshman Luis Ramirez in the absence of the team's top runner Kevin Orellana who was ill. Ramirez answered the call with a strong performance, placing in the top 10 with a time of 21:35. Men's Co-Captain, Ata Ozmen attributed the team's success to the training techniques implemented by coach Shelly Pierson. "Running a race with so many hills was a struggle for all teams, but we looked strong finishing in 3rd place without Orellana." Stated Ozmen. The preparation and hard work paid off for the Vikings and allowed them to run a great race where other teams struggled. After Ramirez, Jordan Bandtell was the next Viking to finish and did so by rounding out the top 20 with a time of 22:13. Sophomores Ata Ozmen and Sayed Opeyany took 25th and 26th respectively and were separated by less than one second finishing with times of 22:35.6 and 22:36.2. John (JJ) Perez and Parker Shields followed with respective times of 23:00 and 23:32. Ben Schoffstall and Solen Tadesse also had a near simultaneous finish with times of 23:53.4 and 23.54.6.
On the Women's side, Alyssa Clark and Jessica Mendez ran strong, given the difficulty of the course. Mendez finished 27th with a time of 21:42. Clark ran her strongest race of the season finishing 32nd with a time of 22:08. As a result of their hard work and discipline, both the Men's and Women's teams continue to show improvement week in and week out under Coach Pierson. The Vikings look to build on this strong performance over the next few weeks in preparation for the Big Championships on October 27th.
--Thomas Glascock | XC Sports Information Intern |