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Cuyamaca, Southwestern excel at PCAC cross country finals Phillip Brents | Wed, Nov 07 2012 08:53 PM

The Cuyamaca College men’s cross country team recorded its best finish in a decade at the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference finals on Oct. 26 at Harry Griffin Park in La Mesa when the Coyotes finished runner-up to team champion San Diego Mesa.

Cuyamaca finished the five-team conference championship meet with 46 points. Mesa, led by men’s individual champion Steven Martinez, won the team title with a low score of 30 points.

The Coyotes totaled five all-conference runners among the top 15 finishers on the 4.0-mile course: Lee McAllister (fourth, 22:38), Emmanuel Corvera (fifth, 22:42), Ryan Maize (eighth, 23:00), Aaron Geisel (14th, 23:33) and Jesse Beason (15th, 23:36).

“This team is all about hard work and determination,” Cuyamaca men’s coach Tim Seaman said. “For the most part, they weren’t big names in high school but their work ethic is amazing.”

McAllister attended Helix High School while Corvera attended Serra High School, Maize and Geisel attended El Capitan High School and Beason attended Christian High School. All are sophomores except Maize, who is a freshman.

Southwestern finished third in the team standings with 81 points, followed by Palomar in fourth place with 100 points and San Diego City in fifth place with 108 points.

Martinez, a graduate of Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista, won the 2012 PCAC men’s title in 21:58 ahead of Mesa teammate Albert Gamez (second, 22:14) and SWC’s Carlos Ponce (third, 22:25).

Gamez is a graduate of Mira Mesa High School; Ponce is a graduate from Sweetwater High School.

Southwestern totaled two all-conference runners in the men’s race, with Hector Ramirez (seventh, 22:56) joining Ponce.

Cuyamaca’s women’s team, led by individual champion Paige Hughes, finished third at the PCAC finals.

Paige, a freshman from Valhalla High School, finished the 5K course in 19:53 to record a sizable 59-second victory against Mesa sophomore Katie Coleman (second, 20:52).

The Coyotes finished with three all-conference runners in the race. Joining Hughes with All-PCAC honors were freshmen Betty Covarrubias (12th, 21:56) and Kailene Gini (13th, 22:13).

Cuyamaca finished with 70 points, trailing team champion Mesa (52 points) and runner-up Palomar (64 points).

Rounding out the women’s field were Southwestern (fourth, 73 pionts), San Diego City (fifth, 98 points), Imperial Valley (sixth, 136) and Grossmont (seventh, 183).

Cuyamaca finished 13th in both the men’s and women’s divisions at last weekend’s Southern California community college championship meet at Orange Coast College.

Hughes placed fourth in the Nov. 3 women’s race in 18:45 to lead the Coyotes. She finished 36 seconds behind race winner Grace Graham-Zamudio, a sophomore from Glendale.

Southwestern placed three runners among the top 10 finishers: Sierra Echols (third, 21:00), Paula Aleman (fifth, 21:10) and Amber Gutierrez (10th, 21:50).

The top four teams from the conference finals advanced to the regional championships.

SWC coach Duro Agbede said his team’s goal this season was to qualify for regionals, which the Jaguars did on both the men’s and women’s side.

Agbede drew encouragement after Southwestern captured the team title at the mid-season Bakersfield Invitational.

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