The Saddleback women's cross country team finished second at the SoCal Preview Meet on Friday in Cerritos. The Gauchos were just an eyelash from winning at one of the biggest meets of the season.
Saddleback entered the meet with high expectations, but curious as to how they would fair against some of the top teams in Southern California. They exited the meet with even more enthusiasm, knowing they now have what it takes to compete on the highest level.
Saddleback finished second out of 34 programs at the meet and right on the heels of Glendale College, who bested the Gauchos by only five points. Saddleback finished 9-15-16-18-24 in the team competition in a race that featured 190 competitors.
Freshman Holly Morales led the way for Saddleback, finishing ninth overall in crossing the finish line of the 5k trek in 19:05.6. She was just nine seconds away from a top-5 finish and was six seconds ahead of Imperial Valley's Sabrina Benavides, who won the Palomar Invitational last week.
Sophomore Megan Good and freshman Alexis Park finished side-by-side in 15th and 16th place, respectively. Good ran the course in 19:20.7 while Park was next at 19:27.7. Freshman Dana McGrath was not far behind in 18th place (19:33.5) while freshman Cayla Porter finished 25th overall (19:48.0).
Other Orange Empire Conference programs on Friday included Orange Coast (7), Riverside (8), Santa Ana (10), Fullerton (15), Norco (21), Golden West (no team score) and Santiago Canyon (no team score).
Saddleback will run again next Friday at the Golden West Invitational. Meet time is scheduled for 10:00 AM at Central Park in Huntington Beach.