The Lancers cross country teams competed in the SoCal Preview meet on Friday, Sept.13, and both maintained a steady standing. The men’s team placed 17 out of a total of 28 teams, while the women’s ended in 19 out of 23 teams.

PCC’s results fared well, improving in comparison to their previous competition at the Biola Invitational on Sept. 7, in which the men’s team placed 15 out of 18, and the women’s concluded 21 out of 22 teams.

So far this year, there have been three meets, and although it’s early in the season, the team is already taking strides in the right direction.

“They’ve been doing pretty well, it’s definitely a big improvement,” said Assistant Coach Tony Rivera, who is in his second season with the Lancers. “The gap between the top five is a lot shorter than it was last year.”

Both runners Olivia Ruiz and Asa Barton maintained their top positions amongst their respective teams.

Ruiz earned the 25 position out of 209 runners, while previously placing 136 out of 216 at Biola.

Barton’s final spot for the preview meet was 53 out of 205 runners. Similar to Ruiz, he showed improvement from the Biola Invitational, in which his result was 107 amongst 187 runners.

Echoing Rivera, Barton feels optimistic for the future of the team.

“Right now we’re in a really good position, and we’re still early in the season. I think we’ll go a long way,” said Barton.

Barton attributes their growth to hard work and a positive team atmosphere.

“We all push each other and want each other to improve because we want to win state,” Barton said. “The team aspect is the main thing. I love being around my team and helping each other.”

Julia Reyes is in her second year running for PCC, and was recently injured at the Biola Invitational meet last week. In spite of this, Reyes has been steadily training and is set to return to race by Oct. 21. She’s excited about where the team is going and is eager to set goals for her return to the track.

“I’m hoping to be back in the 18 minute range for the three miles. What helps me is focusing on people who are ahead of me and trying to push to be with them,” Reyes said.

More women are on the roster for cross country this year, and Reyes has been glad to see the team develop in her second season.

“A lot more girls are competing. It gives us more confidence,” Reyes explained. “The culture right now is pretty peppy, and we’re trying to really set goals.” Like the men’s runners, the women’s cross country team holds the ultimate goal of making it to state championships.

The Lancers will continue their journey to this goal on Friday, Sept. 20, for the Golden West Invitational at Huntington Beach.

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