GLENDALE — Entering the latest installment of the women's portion of the California Community College Cross Country Championship, it figured to be a toss up between Glendale Community College and San Diego Southwestern battling for state supremacy.
The Vaqueros came into Saturday's race at Woodward Park in Fresno as the defending state champion. Southwestern entered with momentum having won the Southern California Championships on its home course Nov. 6.
Glendale college saw its bid to win a second state championship in a row and third in four seasons come up short, as Southwestern won with 36 points and Glendale placed second with 74.
"We did well and second place isn't bad," said Glendale college Coach Eddie Lopez, who led the Vaqueros' women's team to a state title in 2007 and a second-place finish in 2008. "Southwestern is just a good team who had their runners up there and they set the pace and just were able to open it up.
"We would have liked to have won it again, but we've run top three or better in the past six years. We ran for first, but they just beat us. We will be back."
Angie Martinez led the Vaqueros with a ninth-place finish in 18 minutes 34 seconds on the 5K course. Also finishing for the Vaqueros were Alyssa Selve (10th, 18:37), Brianna Jauregui (16th, 18:31), Keri Molt (18th, 18:52), Diana Sanchez (29th, 19:18), Cecilia Nicolas (34th, 19:22) and Vivian Ochoa (37th, 19:22).
Martinez, Selve, Jauregui and Molt all earned All-American accolades.
Martinez, a freshman, said Southwestern had the top four runners throughout the bulk of the race and that helped put it in position to grab the throne from the Vaqueros, who finished with a team time of 84:17.
"We were strong and we really wanted it again," said Martinez, who helped the Vaqueros win the Western State Conference championship and take second behind Southwestern at the Southern California Championships. "They had their top four runners up front and that was a bit crushing for us at times.
"We had to fight for every place. I think Southwestern pushed us and made us better. We didn't get first place, but we still did amazing."
Danielle Low of L.A. Trade Tech clocked 17:39 to win the race.