The Ventura College women's cross country team continued its strong season Friday with a third place finish atthe SoCal Preview meet at Don Knabe Regional Park in Cerritos. Olivia Burton (2nd), Tatiana Garcia (6th) and Brieanna Tafoya (13th) led the Pirate charge in the 21-team event. The Pirate men, running shorthanded once again, came in 21st of the 28 competing teams. Everado Magana was the top finisher for the VC men.
Burton came in second out of 191 runners, covering the 5k course in 18:10, 21 seconds behind the individual winner. Garcia ran a 18:57 and Tafoya finished with a time of 19:16. Other Pirate finishers included: Cecilia Cano (59th, 21:18, 54 team points), Isabelle Egbert (83rd, 21:57, 70 pts.), Maria Elizarraraz (101st, 22:29, 82 pts.) and Alejandra Contreras (131st, 23:35, 98 pts.).
Glendale won the meet with 77 team points, followed by Saddleback (82), Ventura (145), San Bernardino Valley (157) and Moorpark (166).
The Ventura men ran without their No. 1 runner, Adan Cruz, once again, and came in 21st of the 34 participating and 28 scoring teams. Magana was Ventura's top finisher in the 313-runner event, running the 4-mile race in 21:47, good for 82nd place and 75 team points. Other VC finishers included: Luis Barriga (141st, 22;37, 110 pts.), Johnny Ordaz (150th, 22:44, 113 pts.), Jake Turville (175th, 23:09, 124 pts.), Mauricio Flores (200th, 23:49, 137 pts.), and Luis Duran (239th, 24:38, 151 pts.).
"We got our noses bloodied today," commented head men's coach, Tony Veney.
"But adversity breeds character and I believe our young men grew a great deal today and realize it's not going to come as easy as it has in high school. My mantra all season has been to show effort and the results will come around at the end."
The Pirates will next run at the Bakersfield Invitational on Friday Sept. 21.