The Lancers eagerly raced at the Golden West Invitationals Friday Sept. 20, at Central Park in Huntington Beach. The women’s team participated in the 5k run, placing eight out of 10, while the men’s team ran the four mile, placing eight out of 14.

With the season still underway, this fourth meet allowed PCC’s top runners to set new records from their last race.

Assistant coach Tony Rivera discussed what he expected from this race, with the athletes not falling short of his expectations.

“I told them from the beginning of this week, this is a good course to run a personal best for their season,” Rivera said. “It’s definitely the fastest course we ran all season, so I think today would be a good opportunity to improve their time from their last few meets, and a good confidence booster for them.”

As the race went on, athlete Olivia Ruiz kept her pace during the first lap — remaining in third place and slowly falling within the top 10 positions, to save her energy for the laps ahead. Ruiz came in 12th place with 11 points, setting a personal record of 20:49.33.

“I like to start out strong so I don’t get stuck between a pack, so I like to be top three or top five for my first mile,” Ruiz said. “Then as they’re calling out the mile times, I know if I should go faster or slower. So for this one I was going a little fast, so I cut back a bit to not get tired.”

Coming in at 36th place for the women’s team was runner Meline Minasian. At 22:18.70, Minasian also set a personal record compared to her last meet in San Diego (23:23.20).

Minasian talked about her preparation for Friday’s meet.

“So the day before, we did a pre-meet; which is about a 40 minute run, where you feel comfortable and your pace is pretty easy,” Minasian said. “We also get a lot of good rest and eat a lot of carbs the night before.”

Freshman Asa Barton kept his top position for the men’s team by leading the Lancers into the top 20, placing in 16th place and setting a new personal record of 22:14.30.

“I started off a little faster than I normally do; that was kind of the plan,” Barton said. “Because the last race I did a week ago, I had to pass a bunch of people. So I figured my approach for this race was to get up a little further and I think it worked out pretty well.”

The Lancers hope to continue improving at their next meet on Friday, Oct. 4 at Cerritos Falcons Invitational.

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