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By Janean Sorrell, Oct. 19, 2021

On Oct. 9 the CPP men’s and women’s cross-country teams hit the track running at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. Both teams raced against 11 other Southern California colleges and placed in the top four spots in the team category.  

The top five runners for the men’s team collectively scored 77 points and placed third in the overall category with senior Vincent Sarino leading the herd, placing sixth out of 138 runners in the men’s 8K race. 

“Mentally a lot of the work is done in practice. We do things in work outs that usually transitions into the races,” said Sarino. “I wanted to work on not fading that last mile and during workouts I was mentally telling myself, ‘you’re strong, you’re strong,’ and same thing today. Just reinforcing that idea that I’m getting stronger.”  

The women’s team top five scored 111 and placed fourth, with senior Samantha Aguilar placing 13 out of 117 runners. 

Runners Nathally Ceja and Alisa Moraidan trying to break away from the group. (Janean Sorrell | The Poly Post)

Trailing Aguilar, runner Lauren Jauregui finished with a time of 23 minutes and 28 seconds, ranking 25th. Runner Arissa Hatcher finished in 23 minutes and 39 seconds, placing 29th.  

The team meets for training six days a week, with each practice session lasting two to three hours. 

According to Aguilar, the cheers of support from the team and the crowd supplied her with the endurance needed to finish the race. 

“They helped us a lot, especially with me because it gives me endorphins when I hear my teammates shouting and just cheering me on. I’m really blessed and just happy they are here today to enjoy the whole competition and us running for this team,” said Aguilar.  

CPP students and fans cheer on the Broncos during the meet. (Janean Sorrell | The Poly Post)

Finishing the 6K race in 22 minutes and 41 seconds, Aguilar marked her third-fastest personal time to date.  

“I just went down to my roots which is basically focusing on each mile and don’t take off too fast because it’s different from a 5K; it’s a lot longer,” said Aguilar. 

Using a similar strategy, Sarino finished the men’s 8K race in 25 minutes and 14.3 seconds, trailing champion Santiago Hardy of Antelope Valley by 25 seconds. Sarino earned the fifth-best time for a CPP runner in the history of the men’s 8K event at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.  

Vincent Sarino staying focused throughout the men’s 8K race. (Janean Sorrell | The Poly Post)

“It’s a good mark, considering it’s a tough course with lots of up and down hills. If this were a flat course, I definitely feel like my time would have been lower,” said Sarino. “That being said, I’m really happy. I’m not satisfied but I’m happy. There’s room for improvement.”  

Although Claremont Mudd Scripps College runners took first place in both the men’s and women’s races, Head Coach Chris Branford is ecstatic with both CPP teams’ performances at the meet.   

“I think it was our best race of the season so far. I still think we still got work to do going into the championship races,” said coach Bradford. “We’re just going to keep training hard, keep working, good workouts, good recovery, good mental preparation and we’ll be in a good spot.” 

As the Pomona-Pitzer invitational is the last regular meet of season, the Broncos will go on to compete in the CCAA championships in San Marcos, California on Oct. 23. 

On. Nov. 6, the team will travel to regionals in Monmouth, Oregon.   

For more information on the CPP cross country teams’ upcoming schedules, visit the CPP Athletics website. 

Featured image by Janean Sorrell

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