It has been 20 years since the Pasadena City College men's cross country team won its only South Coast Conference title in the sport. On Friday, the Lancers didn't win the title, but accomplished something the program hasn't done in 14 years--finish in third place. No Lancers team finished higher than fifth (2009 and 2010) since '02 when Moises Iniquez won the SCC individual championship.
The Lancers, directed by first-year head coach Innocent Egbunike and assistant Tyrus DeMinter, had no runner finish in the top 14 for All-Conference but by running in a pack managed to place four in the top 26. While Mt. San Antonio picked up its fourth consecutive team title with a dominating score of 17 points in placing a SCC record 11 runners on the All-South Coast team, PCC scored 86 points to finish just 16 behind second-place El Camino (64) and just ahead of fourth-place Cerritos (97).
Sophomore Nathan-Michael Guzman ran a time of 20 minutes, 54 seconds over the 4-mile course held at Legg Lake Park in South El Monte (Whittier Narrows Recreation Area) to finish as the top PCC harrier in 17th place overall. Also in the seven-team, 88-runner field, freshman Eduardo Urbina crossed the line directly behind Guzman in 18th (20:55).
Both Guzman and Urbina have been consistent during the year that has helped PCC to be ranked No. 11 in the most recent SoCal Top 14 poll. The Lancers found their team success in the meet with their next few runners as freshman Marcelo Ramirez ran 24th (21:12) and sophomore Eric Bravo was 26th (21:24). The final scoring runner was Armando Solis, who placed 43rd, at 22:13.
PCC takes part in the SoCal Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 4 at Irvine Regional Park in the City of Orange. The men's race begins at 11 a.m. following the women's race at 10 a.m.
[Photo--At the SCC Championships in South El Monte, Nathan Michael-Guzman (173, middle) settles in during the start of the race, image by Richard Quinton.]