(Fresno, CA) The Mt. SAC Women's Cross Country Team, led by Rebecca Ruiz (5th place individually), finished in fourth as a team at the CCCAA State Championships, held at Woodward Park (Fresno, CA) on Saturday (11/17).
Ruiz, one of 164 runners entered in the 5K race, finished with a time of 18:30, averaging 5:58.1 per mile.
"We gave it our all and that's all I had," Ruiz said. "It's bittersweet (not winning state) and I'm proud of all of my teammates. We gave it 100%."
"As a team we stayed positive and flourished at the end. I'm blessed with a great team, great coaches and I couldn't ask for anything more."
Finishing 13th for the Mounties was Sadie Encinas, who ran a time of 18:53.4.
"This makes me want to try harder next season and correct the mistakes we had and push through to succeed next season," Encinas said.
Both Ruiz and Encinas earned All-State Honors (top 14 individuals) for the Mounties.
"Coach (Gio) Lanaro, (Daniel) Ozan and I couldn't be prouder of the men's and women's teams that represent our program, student body, alumni and college," Cross Country coach Ron Kamaka said.
"Today's performances are a reflection of the mission we embarked on nearly six months ago. It is a testimony of our student athletes' commitment to championship ideals and one team."
"The men now claim the coveted prize and are now state champions, while the women proudly conclude their season as the states' fourth-best team. Both leave this season adding an important link in a long chain of excellence, meeting the challenge of being champions, just as so many other proud Mounties before them have done.
"Winning to us is a by-product of living and being champion-like every day," Kamaka said. "(Saturday) both teams gave Mt. SAC a gift we can be proud of; a Championship Excellence."
Coach Ozan echoed the words of coach Kamaka: "Both the men's and women's teams had big goals coming into the season. A few returners on both ends helped the teams produce amazing leaders. I'm very happy with the results that both teams produced."
Interviews courtesy of Runnerspace.com.
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.