Saddleback sophomore Ulysses Orozco was on fire on Friday at the Orange Empire Conference Finals in Irvine, blowing away the field to finish as the conference champion. He led a team of Gauchos that finished second for the second straight season.
Orozco was among a pack of five at the beginning of the race before pulling into the lead midway through the 4-mile course. He then stretched his lead down the stretch in machine-like fashion, winning by more than 13 seconds in a time of 20:34.56.
Orozco led a team that had its top-5 harriers all finish in the top-20. Freshman Wyndal Skarten finished 11th (21:31.35), sophomore Miles Brubacher 16th (21:41.29), sophomore Brian Aguirre 17th (21:45.43) and sophomore Mark Delgado 20th (21:51.59) for a team total of 65. It was the first time Saddleback has had a full team for the entire year and it showed as they outdueled both Santa Ana and Orange Coast for second place.
Orozco has now won three meets this season, including the last two races. His late run makes him one of the favorites at the Southern California Finals next Friday at Mission Bay. Race time next Friday is set for 11:00 AM
Santa Ana 73
Orange Coast 81
Santiago Canyon 134
Golden West 208