(Fresno, CA) The Mt. SAC Men's Cross Country Team captured the Fresno City College Invitational for the second year in a row on Saturday, September 8th. For the second week in a row, sophomore Salvador Capetillo took home the individual championship.
The Mounties captured the 2017 CCCAA State Championship on the famed Woodward Park Course, won last years' Fresno Invite by 37 points and increased that total by a whopping 63 points this year.
That was due largely due to the Mounties top five runners who finished individually in the top 8 overall and with a tight five man (time) gap of 51 seconds over the 4.0 mile course.
"It was a great day for the men," Mt. SAC Men's Cross Country coach Daniel Ozan said. "We wanted to work on running as a pack and we definitely showed we are more than capable of doing so. The top five didn't push the first couple miles. At two miles, it was time to start moving up and it was great to see them work together to achieve the same goals."
Mt. SAC finished with 23 points, a perfect one through five individual finishes (only top 5 runners score) will garner 15 points. Second place Glendale College had 86, with only one runner placing in the top ten.
Capetillo, with two wins under his belt in the first two weeks of the season, was the only runner to finish under the 21-minute mark. His time of 20:46.5 (5:11 average mile) was 23 seconds ahead of the second-place runner from San Diego Mesa.
"The first two miles were a tempo pace," said Capetillo, who bested 164 runners. "The last two miles Coach "O" told us to go out and give it that extra gear. It felt nice to have that extra gear, even though we've been keeping our mileage up."
Finishing fourth through seventh individually for the Mounties were: Chris Weiland (21:24), Jose Melchor (21:25.2), Luis Huerta (21:29.2) and Colby Penn (21:37.4). Ralph Mendoza finished 22nd (21:59.6) and Isaiah Wilson 34th (22:21.2) for Mt. SAC.
What they said:
Chris Weiland – "I've never felt so good in a cross country race and I'm just excited to see what we can do later on this year."
Jose Melchor – "When we hit that 2-mile mark and started going as a pack, (then) it was time to go to work. To me it's very inspiring to see my teammates right next to me. It gives me more motivation at the end of the race."
Luis Huerta – "When I first came here to Mt. SAC there was that standard of excellence. We're just trying to raise the bar. We have by far the hardest working freshman class we've ever had."
Colby Penn – "The strongest thing about this team is that we have an elite front runner and a pack that could be front runners. We have huge goals and one of them is to break the record at the state (CCCAA) course."
Post Meet Interview Credit: Runnerspace.com
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.