Cross country starts strong



Tepayotal paces Santa Ana to a seventh place finish in the Golden West Invitational

Freshman Quetzalin Tepayotl finished with the team’s top time, and five of seven runners scored for the Dons on Sept. 21 at the Golden West Invitational, helping SAC to its second top 10 finish of the season.

“The training is always the hard part, but the race is definitely the fun part,” Tepayotl said.

Santa Ana College finished seventh against a field of 16 other colleges.

The team has steadily improved its finish since placing 15th last at the So Cal Preview.

Tepayotl finished 29th with a time of 20:39. Alicia Sotelo (20:45) crossed the finish line about six seconds later, placing 34th overall.

“There’s always room for improvement and I’m excited for the end of the season. I know we’re going to do great,” Dons’ Head Coach Miriam Mitzel said.

Freshmen Cecilia Chavez (22:08), Elisa Mendez (22:24) and Laura Ramirez (22:17) finished 64th, 70th and 71st respectively. Sophomore Yulma Gonzalez and freshman Bianca Gonzalez did not score for the Dons, finishing 75th and 81st.

The team credits its rigorous daily training sessions with multiple mile runs capped by long distance runs. “Training is hard, but it prepares us for our runs. If we train hard it definitely shows in the race,” Sotelo said.

The team has yet to realize its potential, and the incremental improvements through three meets foreshadows better outcomes against conference rivals, Mitzel said.
“They will do much better against the Orange Empire Conference.”

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Despite the training and running in the heat, Mitzel checks the weather every day and makes sure the women always drink plenty of water, since after eight runners suffered from heat exhaustion at the So Cal Preview a week before.

The Dons host the next meet – the Brubaker Invitational – at Irvine Park, Friday at 10 a.m.


  • Despite having a young team with seven freshmen the Dons are off to a solid.
  • The team consists of 10 women, three of which are returners from last season.
  • Five out of SAC’s seven runners placed in the Golden West Invite.
  • KEY NUMBER = 20:39
    Freshman Quetzalin Tepayotl’s time placed her 29th out of 152 runners in the invitational


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