Placings were not a priority at the 6th Mustang Challenge (hosted by Master's University) as much as striving to get better. That was the Pasadena City College women's cross country team as all of its runners improved on their times at the Central Park, Santa Clarita 5-kilometer course on Sept. 30.
The Lancers had run the same course a few weeks earlier at the SoCal Preview Meet, and for some they could get another crack at the course in November if they qualify for the SoCal Championships.
Going up against mostly 4-year university runners, Yasmeen Barrios took 133rd overall (161 racers) with a Lancers best time of 22:22.6, an impressive 1:24 faster than her previous finish. Raylin Galvan, who was 81st overall at the preview meet, was 23 seconds faster at 22:23.8, showing how well Barrios had improved.
Other PCC racers were Vanessa Monrreal (23:56.9), who made a 52-second improvement, Paola Jimenez (24:31.5, did not race at SoCal), Andrea Sigala (24:43.7), who beat her last time by more than a minute, and Melissa Olivas (24:50), who almost shaved two full minutes (1:52) off of her last mark.
As a team, PCC placed 16th of 17 scoring teams in an invitational won by UCLA. LA Harbor (15th) was the only other California Community College at the meet.
""The women impressed me in with their dramatic improvements and gutsy competitiveness," said PCC assistant coach Steve Laguna. "We look forward to more of that as we move toward the SCC championships."
Head coach Innocent Egbunike will next bring his troops to the Mt. SAC Invitational on Oct. 14.