The Saddleback women's cross country team cruised to a victory at the Golden West Invitational on Friday at Central Park in Huntington Beach. Alexis Park won the individual medal and three other Gauchos finished in the top-10.
Saddleback proved to be too much for the rest of the field on Friday, running away with the team title while capturing their first individual win of the season. The Gauchos finished 1-4-5-7 in the team competition while finishing 1-5-6-9 overall.
Park was a machine, hanging around the lead pack for most of the race before making her move in the last mile. She trailed Orange Coast College's Meagan Silves for most of the race until the final 300 yards when she passed her on the final straight away. Park finished the 5k trek in 20:02.3 to finish 2.5 seconds ahead of Silves in claiming her first win of the season.
The rest of the top Saddleback runners remained in a pack for the entire race, gobbling up most of the field over the course of the race. Dana McGrath was next for the Gauchos, finishing fifth overall and fourth among team competitors with a time of 20:17.2. She was just ahead of teammate Holly Morales who ran a 20:18.3 and Megan Good, who ran a 20:26.3.
Saddleback was facing the rest of the Orange Empire Conference and others from around the state considered amongst the best in their region. The Gauchos entered the week ranked No. 5 in the state and No. 4 in Southern California according to the 5CTCA Rankings.
Saddleback will run again in two weeks at the Brubaker Invitational at Irvine Regional Park. Race time is scheduled for 9:00 AM on October 5 in Irvine.