Pasadena City College women's cross country runner Olivia Ruiz decided to see what it's like in front of the pack as she broke out to an early lead at the SoCal Preview Meet held Sept. 13 at Mission Bay. And while Ruiz didn't keep that blistering pace, the freshman showed why she may be an upper echelon racer as she placed 25th overall out of 209 runners over the 5-kilometer course.
Ruiz hit the finish line with a strong 21:20.9 time. Her Lancers placed 19th overall out of 23 scoring teams. The next fastest Lancer was frosh Meline Minasian in 90th (23:23.2). She was followed by sophomore Raylin Galvan (164th, 26:55), freshman Wafa Kasim (167th, 27:11), and first-year harrier Nathalia Caramaschi (181st, 28:35).
Ruiz may be setting her sights high as she was the fifth fastest South Coast Conference runner in the race, which potentially could put her in All-SCC First Team contention later in the season.
Moorpark's Sophia Cortina won the individual race in 19:14.8 while Glendale captured the team title. The SCC schools went as follows: Mt. San Antonio fourth, LA Harbor fifth, Long Beach City 15th, Cerritos in 18th, then PCC a place behind the Falcons.
Ruiz and the Lancers are schedule to participate this Friday, Sept. 20 at the Golden West Invitational in Huntington Beach.