The Saddleback women's cross country team finished in second place at the Orange Empire Conference Finals on Thursday in Mission Viejo. The Gauchos had five finishers in the top-20 to finish second for the second straight season.
Saddleback started the season down a couple of runners and within two months have made great strides. The Gauchos finished second by edging out Orange Coast, who finished third on Thursday.
Sara Fleming continued a great stretch drive to the season, finishing fourth overall out of 48 harriers in the race. Fleming crossed the finish line on the 5k layout in 20:01.1, for an average of 6:26.6-per-mile. She was a 1:35 behind Riverside's Sarah Hollis, who captured the gold medal in the event.
Fleming had a lot of help as Saddleback had four others in the top-20. Sierra Pilarski was ninth with a time of 20:21.6, followed by Hannah Badger (15th, 21:14.9), Megan Good (19th, 21:50.8) and Victoria Powers (20th, 21:55.0).
Fleming was named to the All-Orange Empire Conference First Team for her finish while Pilarski was named to the All-OEC Second Team.
Saddleback will run again at the Southern California Regional Finals next Friday in Santa Clarita.
Orange Coast, 75
Santa Ana, 98
Golden West, 157
Santiago Canyon, DNQ