Nathan-Michael Guzman once again proved why he is Pasadena City College's top men's cross country racer after taking 35th individually at the Southern California Championship meet held at Irvine Regional Park. The Lancers placed 16th out of 28 teams to allow them to qualify as a team at the upcoming CCCAA State Championships. It is the first time in four years that the team qualified for the event.
In 2014, Guzman ran the state meet as an individual from PCC and finished in 50th place.
The sophomore Guzman ran 21 minutes, 26.2 seconds or more than 40 seconds faster than the last time he ran the 4-mile course at the SoCal Preview Meet back on Sept. 16. A total of 197 runners took part in the regional meet as Lancers freshman Eduardo Urbina also impressed with a 45th place at 21:37.6. Urbina outraced Guzman by a second at the preview meet (57th to 59th) and shaved off almost 28 seconds from the last race.
While PCC's overall average individual time improved to 22:18, the Lancers finished three places back from the preview meet (then 13th).
After Guzman and Urbina, scoring runners for PCC were sophomore Eric Bravo (89th, 22:27.3), Christian Alcala (112th, 22:48.4), and Armando Solis (125th, 23:13.6). Also participating were Marcelo Ramirez (154th, 23:52), and Kalen Marshall (171st, 24:34.5).
San Bernardino Valley won the regional team title behind race champion Luis Ortega's 20:27.7 mark.
PCC first-year head coach Innocent Egbunike will direct his squad at the state meet held annually at Fresno's Woodward Park on Saturday, Nov. 19.
[Photo--Nathan-Michael Guzman (173) in action at the SCC Championships and now he will be competing at the state meet later this month, image by Richard Quinton.]