With four runners in the top five positions, the Ventura College women's cross country team claimed the title at the Bakersfield College Cross Country Invitational on Friday. Brieanna Tafoya brought home the individual championship in the race to lead the way. The VC men, meanwhile, brought home fifth place in their eight-team event, led by Jake Turville.
Tafoya covered the 5k course in 19:12 for a 6:10 per mile pace. Olivia Burton came in second at 19:40 while Gisele Ortega and Diana Saldana were fourth and fifth respectively, in 21:13 and 21:19. Other Pirate finishers included Cristina Cortes (14th, 24:15, 11 team points), Michelle Paramo (17th, 25:09, 14 points), Alexandra Sanchez (19th, 25:19, 15 points) and Michelle Hamm (21st, 26:31). A total of 33 runners competed for the seven participating teams.
Ventura scored 23 points as a team to claim first place, followed by Cuesta (37), Bakersfield (82) and Hancock (84). Canyons, Porterville and Victor Valley did not field complete teams.
The Ventura men continued to show steady improvement despite their fifth place team finish. Turville ran the 4-mile course in 24:19 for 27th place and 21 team points. Michael Sanchez was 32nd (24 points) in 25:09 and Pierson Reynolds was close behind in 35th (25 points) in 25:14. Luis Duran (27th, 25:28, 27 points), Gabriel Olivares (49th, 27:14, 34 points), and Noah Perez (52nd, 28:23, 36 points) completed the Pirate team. A total of 63 runners competed.
VC will next travel to South El Monte for the Western State Conference Preview on Friday Oct. 4.