Story By Omar Reyes/Staff Writer/@salar0895
Although the Long Beach Grand Prix generally attracts tens of thousands of people, the Mini Grand Prix at the PCC drew several hundred as Aztlan women and men won the 41st annual LBCC races Saturday, April 23.
After several competitive races, the men’s Aztlan club won the race for the 9th consecutive year against The Order of Tong while the women’s Atzlan Lotus won against PNK.
Jose Fregoso, 21, a criminal justice major and a member of the red team of The Order of Tong, said the Mini Grand Prix “was competitive and tough, but that’s what we expect. We expect to have real tough teams to compete against and this year was one of those competitive ones.”
Clubs that participated in the races included Ladies of Athena, KCTY Radio Association, Puente Club, Metal Fabrication and Welding Club and TNT.
The winning women’s Aztlan Lotus team named AZ Lotus included Judith Aguilar, Katherine Lopez and Iveth Torres while the men’s team named AZ 8iF included David Quezada, Charlie Winston and Juran Day.
The main competitive team against the women were the PNK Pink Wolves and the men’s adversaries were Tong Red.
Day said, “The win was really great. We messed up towards the end, but knowing the fact that we pulled off the victory at the end made it worthwhile.”
Day said, “The Mini Grand Prix really brings all the clubs together, even people who aren’t in clubs and volunteers. Everybody’s having fun since it is fun and competitive. It’s a great experience.”
Torres said the other teams from other clubs did really well and were competitive. “This win was exciting because the ladies didn’t win past semesters and since this was the first time I was able to participate, I’m glad to be part of the winning team.”
The Mini Grand Prix also received visits from Trustees Ginny Baxter and Jeff Kellogg. In addition, Kevin Guadamuz, LAC Student Life Club Senate President, was crowned the royalty king.
Derek Oriee, Student Life adviser for the Mini Grand Prix, at least two incidences of instant replays were used when two teams came close together. The replay rulings were the first for the Mini Grand Prix.
He said the decision to change the day of the Mini Grand Prix from a Thursday to a Saturday was done so more students could participate because “after three years, there was a decline in student participation and some students skipped class.”
Oriee participated in the Mini Grand Prix as a student from 1989-1991 and said many people wanted to join clubs and they wanted to participate then. Entries were limited due to an overabundance of students.
In the recent races, Oriee playfully jokes that he refers to the new generation as the “Nintendo” generation because not many students want to participate in the Mini Grand Prix and Oriee often encourages students to join.
The adviser said, “This Mini Grand Prix went well. I’m excited that more people participated. I felt it was a positive outcome.”
The activities April 23 also included a car show in the parking lot of the PCC.