By John Broadway / Staff Writer

LBCC’s men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in the So Cal Champions Preview Match in Valencia against 29 other teams from Southern California on Friday, Sept. 13. In the 4-mile race, the men’s team finished in 29th place among 30 teams.

The women’s team finished 26 overall in the 5-k race. Sophomore Jerry Toliver led the Viking men’s team with a time of 24:18 and freshman Destinie Hernandez, led the women with a time of 23:12.

The runners body language showed signs of disappointment in regards to their overall team performance. Some runners said they remain optimistic despite losing their first few races. Sophomore Elias Galvan said, “We didn’t do as great as we thought we would, but we have three weeks to improve before our next meet so we should be good.”

Freshman Edgar Chacon said, “We need to improve our teamwork, train more effectively and try to be more consistent. Also some of our guys are injured so we will be better as a team once they get back.” Last year’s state champions, American River College, won the meet with an overall score of 19 points over the field.

The Vikings meanwhile were well behind with an overall score of 781. The next match is the San Diego Invitational on Friday Oct. 4 at noon at the Mission Bay Park in San Diego. The Vikings plan to use the next few weeks before their next race to improve their fitness and overall performance in the 4-mile and 5-k races.

Men’s coach Julio Jimenez said, “Friday’s performance didn’t really show what type of fitness we have. As the season continues we will continue to get more fit. The season will only get better for us from here.”