All season, the Pasadena City College men's cross country team had relied on its two top runners Asa Barton and Giovanni Guajardo. On Nov. 1 at the South Coast Conference Championships, it was two other Lancers who stepped up while the mainstays didn't reach their top performances as the team placed sixth out of eight teams at Irvine Regional Park.
Freshman Alec Fernandez was a surprise top Lancers finisher after Barton had been in the top spot in each of the previous six meets. Fernandez ran a 23:39.9 time in covering the 4-mile course in 20th place overall in an 89-racer field. Another surprise was the next best finisher in freshman Mohammad Halim, who placed 23rd in 23:48.3. The two harriers are products of Arcadia High.
The sophomore Guajardo was third best this day in 33rd (24:10.1) and the rookie Barton labored in 43rd (25:03.6) after PCC had hoped both runners would be in the top 20 mix with Barton an All-SCC candidate (top 14). Jose Fuentes was the final scoring runner in 52nd (25:35.2) while Jose Campos (63rd, 26:30.7), Jordan Jiang (72nd, 27:43), Jalen Kelley (79th, 29:16), and Karvin Li (82nd, 32:38) all took part in the tough race.
Mt. San Antonio won its seventh straight SCC title led by individual champion Isaiah Wilson, the only runner to break 22 minutes in 21:53.1.
Coach Innocent Egbunike's Lancers will next take part in the Southern California Champions on Friday, Nov. 8 at Mission Bay Park in San Diego.
SOUTH COAST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS, TEAM RESULTS
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