The Saddleback men's cross country team finished fifth at the Southern California Regional Finals on Friday at Mission Bay. Ulysses Orozco finished third overall out of 193 runners in the race.
Orozco has been machine-like over the past month, winning two straight races heading into the SoCal Finals. He was just six seconds off the lead pace on Friday, running the 4-mile course in 20:37.38.
Orozco was part of a Gaucho lineup that had its top six harriers all finish in the top-70. He was followed by freshman Ronen Skarsten in 23rd (21:31.79), freshman Wyndal Skarsten in 27th (21:37.48), sophomore Brian Aguirre in 45th (21:53.64) and sophomore Mark Delgado in 57th (22:08.23) for a team score of 153.
The Gauchos were one of four Orange Empire Conference programs to finish in the top eight as Riverside finished second, Orange Coast seventh and Santa Ana eighth.
Saddleback qualified for the state finals on November 20 in Fresno.