(Fresno, CA) Sophomore Rebecca Ruiz captured her first college cross country title, leading the Mt. SAC Women's Cross Country Team to a runner-up finish, at the Fresno City College Invitational on Saturday, September 8th.
Ruiz, who finished 20th in the CCCAA State Championships last season, had a winning time of 18:47 in the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) race. Ruiz posted the only sub 19:00 time among the 109 runners.
Ruiz improved 27 seconds on her personal best of 19:14 on the famed Woodward Park Course which was set last season.
"It was an amazing day," replied Mt. SAC Women's Cross Country Coach Daniel Ozan. "Last week (Mark Covert Invite) Glendale put five athletes in front of our second runner. I told them to be more aggressive (Saturday) and they did just that.
"Big improvements overall and they will only get better from here."
This week, Glendale was only able to place one runner in front of Mounties second runner, Alyssa Cantrell who finished with a time of 19:43 for fifth place.
Hartnell College took the team championship with 42 points, followed by Mt. SAC and Glendale at 50 points. The Mounties won the tie breaker over Glendale College, based on the NCAA tiebreaking rule of top 5 finishing order comparison.
"This race is just a huge confidence booster," Ruiz said. "It was an awesome race, a very positive race.
"It's nice to have that knowledge (as a sophomore) to be able to guide the (freshman) and to be able to tell them we're going to be ok, (no matter what the conditions). The end result will be success."
The Mounties will compete in their third race of the season next Saturday, September 15th at the 38th Annual UC Riverside Invitational.
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.