The City College women’s cross-country team is looking to repeat as Big 8 champions in the new season — and beyond.
The team began the season at the Sierra Invitational on Sept. 1 at Sierra College. The team came in third place, behind first-place American River College and second-place Sierra College. The fastest individual runner for the Panthers was freshman Perla Gonzalez-Rodriguez, who finished in eighth place with an average mile time of 7:03.2.
“No. 1, we’re in the process of working together as a team,” said coach Marisa Avendano of her players, as she outlined the team’s goals for the upcoming season. “The ladies are very supportive of one another and work hard.”
City College returns a trio of sophomores who adapted to become 2016 All-League selections. Haley Grieger, Miranda Raynor and Alyssa Ayala will help pace a smaller roster than Avendano is accustomed to.
“Last year, we had a huge team with depth,” said Avendano. “This year, we have a talented team again, just not with the numbers.”
Three Panthers finished in the top 10 as City placed third in the Big 8 Preview Sept. 15 in Stockton. Gonzalez-Rodriguez’s finished fourth, Jasmine Loyola sixth, and Ayala 10th for the Panthers.
According to Avendano the team is healthy, without any injuries. One of the biggest challenges they face is built into the community college sports system.
“At the community college, you only have two years,” said Avendano. “The team that you get year after year is totally different. The challenge is to adapt to whatever team we have that particular year.”
The team has another chance to put its roster to the test on Sept. 29 at the Modesto Junior College Invitational.
For more info on SCC Women’s Cross-Country, visit sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/wxc.