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COC XC men wins conference title

Posted: October 24, 2013 10:56 p.m.
Updated: October 24, 2013 10:56 p.m.
 

A lot of the same cross country athletes who shined at Santa Clarita Valley high schools are doing the same thing with College of the Canyons.

A COC men’s cross country team made up entirely of local high school products claimed the school’s first Western State Conference championship since 2007 on Thursday at Oxnard College.

“This was the plan from day one,” said COC head coach Lindie Kane. “Of course the goal was to win a conference title. We have always compared this team to our 2007 team.”

COC was led by the second-place finish of Saugus graduate Rodrigo Ornelas in 20 minutes, 40.45 seconds. Ornelas was last year’s individual Foothill League cross country champion.

Following Ornelas, fellow Saugus graduates Robert Pion and Anthony Janaslani finished fourth (21:01.10) and 10th (21:25.38), respectively in the four-mile race.

The next two finishers for COC were Valencia graduates Alex Johnson (12th, 21:26.46) and Chase Wheeler (15th, 21:29.09).

At the same event, COC’s women’s team finished third in the conference led by Dominique Dowell’s fifth-place finish in 19:17.27 in the 5K race.

With the results, both COC teams qualify for the Southern California Championships on Nov. 8 at Central Park. The team can then qualify for the state championships on Nov. 23 in Fresno.

“The momentum is with us and the excitement is there and the end goal is to end up at on the podium at the state meet,” Kane said.

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