The Saddleback women's cross country team finished fourth at the Southern California Regional Finals on Friday in Cerritos. With the finish, the Gauchos qualified for the CCCAA State Meet on November 17 in Fresno.
Saddleback was attempting to make the state meet for a fifth straight season and with the top 14 teams from Southern California advancing were never in any real fear of failing to qualify. The Gauchos went out and accomplished their goal, running a tactical race and preparing for bigger things that lie ahead in Fresno.
Saddleback had their top five harriers all finish in the top 35…one of only two teams in the field to accomplish that goal. The other to do it was Los Angeles Harbor College, who finished in first place.
Saddleback finished 17-25-27-30-34 in the team competition, finishing 11 points behind third place Glendale, 23 points back of second place Mt. San Antonio College and 80 points back of LA Harbor.
Saddleback was led by Dana McGrath, who crossed the finish line in 17th place overall with a time of 18:42.7. The next to cross was Holly Morales (25th, 19:03.2), followed by Alexis Park (27th, 19:06.3), Megan Good (30th, 19:14.1) and Cayla Porter (34th, 19:26.4).
Saddleback's fourth place finish at the SoCal Finals ties the best-ever finish from 2016 when the Gauchos went on to finish fifth at the state finals.
Other Orange Empire Conference programs qualifying for the state meet included Riverside (6th), Orange Coast (9th) and Santa Ana (14th).
The state finals take place at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 17.