Cross Country

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2011 Wrap-Up

By Dave Loveton, sports information
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011

Men finish strong, take 16th in State
       Fickerson is Coach of the Year

 The SBCC men's cross country team got hot in the postseason and grabbed 16th place in the 2011 State Championships while the women narrowly missed a State berth. Three Vaquero women qualified as individuals for the State Finals in Fresno.
 Ben Garland and Matthew Bailey turned in their fastest times of the year at State. Garland, a freshman from Santa Cruz placed 20th out of 215 runners in 20:48 on the 4-mile course. Bailey, a freshman from Dos Pueblos High, took 59th with a clocking of 21:22.
 In its first State appearance in more than 10 years, SBCC finished 16th out of 28 schools.
 "Our men's season was built around overcoming some mid-season injuries and coming together over the last month and running really strong at the So Cal Championships and State," said coach Scott Fickerson. "They stayed the course, remained focused through the obstacles and overcame them to great success at the end."
 Fickerson was named WSC men's Coach of the Year after his team improved from 12th place at the 2010 WSC Championships to fifth this year.
 Cecilia Instebo sparked the women throughout the year, opening with a third-place finish at the Cuesta Invitational and closing with a 33rd-place effort at the State meet in a season-best 19:27 on the 5K course.
 "For the women, it was about closing the gaps between our top 2, our lone #3 and our 4, 5 and 6 runners," noted Fickerson. "We worked on that all season and made great strides. It showed with our best performance at the So Cal Championships and missing the state by one place.
 "We had the highest number of state qualifiers for men and women (10) in more than a decade."
 Omar Padilla-Lopez was a key runner for the men while Kelly Mayer and Harley Arce were solid for the women. The men and women both finished fifth in the WSC Championships.
 "We're always striving to be the best we can be and I'm never going to be satisfied with fifth place," said Fickerson. "I was particularly happy with how we ran post-conference and that we got the best out of the athletes. I was happy with the effort and commitment that the athletes gave to this team and to the program.
 "I'm happy with what they feel they got in return for their efforts -- all very positive feedback. For those reasons, less than how we actually placed, I feel it was a successful season.
 Fickerson said he hopes to increase the quantity and quality of athletes in the future.
 "I need to continue to recruit hard and work on improving the numbers of the program," he concluded. "The more athletes, the more depth and potential of developing athletes into top-level runners."

WSC Championships
(Oct. 25 at Cuesta)

Glendale           4             Glendale              3
L.A. Valley        5             Moorpark             6
Cuesta              9             Cuesta                 7
Ventura            12            Canyons            12
SBCC               16             SBCC                16
Moorpark         17             Bakersfield        17
Bakersfield       21            Ventura              21
Canyons          24             Oxnard              24
Citrus               28             Santa Monica    27
Santa Monica  29             Citrus                 30
Oxnard            35             West L.A.         122
West L.A.      122             L.A. Valley        124

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