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Lady Jags win JC state cross country title Chris Bender | Thu, Dec 30 2010 01:25 PM

As Southwestern College celebrates its 50-year anniversary, the college claimed its first state title in athletics when the women’s cross country team won the California Community College Athletic Association’s state championship Nov. 20 in Fresno. This is the first time one of the college’s athletic teams has won a state title.

“Winning this award has earned these athletes, their coaches and our entire athletic department a place in Southwestern College’s history,” said Dr. Mark Meadows, vice president for academic affairs. “We are proud of the hard work and dedication these student-athletes put forward and are honored to have them represent Southwestern College.”

The Lady Jaguars competed against 28 teams at the 34th annual competition. They won with an overall low score of 36, which  ties for the lowest state championship score in California history for junior college cross country. The score is the cumulative number of points brought in by the top five runners on the team.

Individual place-finishers in the 3.1-mile race included Tanya Valenzuela (third, 18:11), Ayded Reyes (fifth, 18:13), Aylin Mejia (sixth, 18:19), Nadine Mulvany (seventh, 18:24) and Valerie Hycz (21st, 18:59).
Glendale finished second in the team standings with 74 points. A total of 28 teams and 209 runners competed in the women’s race.

“Our Lady Jaguars have dominated throughout the state,” said Terry Davis, dean of the School of Health, Exercise Science and Athletics. “I congratulate coach Dr. Duro Agbede, assistant coaches Sarah Meza and Alex Mariscal and the Southwestern’s women’s cross country team for winning the state title.”

Reyes and  Mejia were both honored by the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference as its women Athletes of the Week.

Reyes is a freshman from Mission Bay High School, while Mejia is a freshman out of Sweetwater High School.

Honorable mention went to Southwestern’s Valenzuela and Mulvany. Valenzuela, a sophomore from Hilltop High School, shared Athlete of the Week honors for the week ending Oct. 17. Mulvany is a sophomore from Nile Kinnick High School located at U.S. Fleet Activity, Yokosuka, Japan.

Over the last several years, the Lady Jaguars placed in the top five at the state finals, including a third place finish in 2008. Comprised of 10 Southwestern College freshmen and sophomores, the team will begin its 2011 season in September. 
In the men’s race, SWC’s Dahir Mohamed finished fourth overall with a time of 20:15 on the four-mile course. Leonardo Banales was 18th in 20:54. The Jaguars finished 14th out of 28 teams. A total of 217 runners finished the race.

Mohamed, a sophomore from Hoover High School, was previously honored as the PCC men’s Athlete of the Week after winning the PCAC cross country finals  at Guajome Park with a time of 20:41 for four miles. He helped lead the Jaguars to a second-place team finish.

Banales, a freshman from Brawley High School, finished third in the conference meet, running a 21:06, to earn honorable mention honors. 

Fully accredited since 1964, Southwestern College is the only public institution of higher education in southern San Diego County and is the primary source of higher education for approximately 400,000 residents of communities including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro, Sunnyside and Coronado.

The college serves approximately 20,000 students each semester and offers more than 285 associate degree and certificate options.

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