There can only be one word to describe both the Mt. SAC Women’s and Men’s Cross Country Teams and that is “quick.” Both teams were coming off of amazing performances at the San Diego Invitational and the Mounties were determined to stay hot before the South Coast Conference Championship.
Mt. SAC hosted the annual Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational on Oct. 15 at the course behind Hilmer Lodge Stadium. This year, the meet was attended by a total 19 colleges across Southern California.
The day started out like any normal meet for the Mounties. They got ready in the morning at their base camp by stretching and readying themselves to warm up before the race. Afterwards, they began their warmups by taking a jog around their home track to prepare themselves for dominance.
The first race involved the women’s teams and the Mounties lined up at the starting line in the middle of all the other competing colleges. This race they were sporting their pink uniforms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As the race began, Mt. SAC shot out to a commanding lead over the competition spearheaded by Hannah Brown, Amanda Crowell, and Kaitlyn Atkinson. The trio put on an incredibly strong performance for almost all of the race.
Although the Mounties held a tight grip on the lead, they would lose their first-place individual position to College of the Canyons in the end. Yet this would not affect the Mounties chances to win as a team, and Mt. SAC would finish with seven top 20 finishes (2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 12th, 13th and 16th). The Mounties would lock up the top team spot for their dominant performance.
Next up was the men’s team with their own Breast Cancer Awareness Uniforms. Before the race, the men performed their pre-game ritual circle which hyped them up and made them determined and eager to begin the race.
When the race started, the Mounties were holding down the front of the pack as they led in the first loop of the race. Elijah Ocegueda, Jesse Alvarado, and Zackary Alexander would also control the top three positions for most of their race, ensuring Mt. SAC looked good for three and a half miles of the course.
Yet in the last quarter mile of the race, Hartnell College would catch up to Mt. SAC and started to break up the lead the Mounties had in the competition. Yet the Mounties would fight back to try to control the lead they had in the race.
In the end, Ocegueda would finish in first place for the Mounties although the runners from Hartnell had already controlled most of the top spots of the race. The Mounties finished in 1st, 3rd, 4th, 14th, 15th and 18th, while Hartnell finished in 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th. The Mounties would finish in second place as a team losing by just six points to Hartnell.
In the end, both cross country teams put on an amazing performance in their respective races for the last race before the South Coast Conference Championship. The Mounties showed that they had the grit, determination and speed to compete which they hope will translate to the next race.
The Mt. SAC Mounties Cross Country Teams will race again on Oct. 29 at the South Coast Conference Championships at Compton College.