Three Gauchos qualify for state

Three Gauchos qualify for state

The Saddleback men's cross country team finished in 15th place at the Southern California Regional Finals on Friday in Cerritos.  The Gauchos had three runners qualify for the state meet in Fresno.

Saddleback came within an eyelash of qualifying as a team, finishing one spot out of the mix.  With 14 programs qualifying, the Gauchos finished in 15th place and just seven points behind 14th place Orange Coast College.

As tough as that was to swallow, it wasn't all a loss for the men's team as three individuals qualified for the state meet in two weeks.  Scott Hickman, Julian Lasting and Sebastian Arias all qualified based upon their finish on Friday, meaning 50% of the team had a qualifying time.

Hickman (pictured middle) has been on a roll as of late and finished in 26th place overall on Friday.  A week after finishing third at the Orange Empire Conference Finals, Hickman crossed the finish line in 20:17.4, which was 1:25 faster than his time on the same course six weeks earlier.

Lasting and Arias had similar stories.  Lasting (pictured right) finished in 38th place overall when he crossed the line in 20:27.4, cutting 1:09 off his time at the SoCal Preview.  Arias (pictured left) finished in 74th place on Friday by running the 4-mile course in 21:13.6, chopping 35 seconds off his time from mid-September.

Hickman, Lasting and Arias will compete at the CCCAA State Finals at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 17.