Dylan Marx (foreground) finished fourth and Aaron Thomas (behind) finished fifth, both making the All-State team, to lead the San Diego Mesa men to a third place team finish.
The San Diego Mesa College men’s cross country team finished off a successful season with a third place finish in the State Championships. The meet was held in Fresno on Woodward Park’s 4 mile course. Mesa did a fine job of competing against a very strong field, finishing with 101 points for the bronze medal position. The meet was won by American River, who ran the most dominating team performance in recent history while scoring only 49 points. Second was four-time defending champion San Bernadino Valley, who edged out Mesa while scoring 91 points.
Leading the way for Mesa were Dylan Marx and Aaron Thomas. Dylan and Aaron had been the team leaders all season and the state championships were no exception. Both did an excellent job of moving up positions throughout the race, ending up in 4th and 5th place in times of 20:15 and 20:16. These performances put them on the All-State Team and gave them All-American honors. Coach Thom Hunt stated that “both Dylan and Aaron came prepared for a top performance at state. Both came through to get the team in position to reach the medal podium”. Third man for Mesa was Eric Brown. Brown also did an excellent job of threading his way through the field to finish in 23rd place with a time of 20:49. Finishing off the scoring for Mesa were Eddie Ramos (30th, 20:55) and Temesgen Petros (41st, 21:08). Both provided the depth needed to secure the team’s overall finish. Non-scoring team members Arturo Canela and Carlos Bojorquez had tougher days. Arturo came into the meet with an injury that proved a hindrance throughout the race. Carlos was working his way up to join his teammates when on the 2nd hill on the course he was tripped and fell. He immediately scrambled to his feet but found that he was no longer able to run with a fluid motion and he struggled to gamely finish the race.
Coach Hunt was extremely pleased with his team’s performance. “Our team ran very aggressively and competed to the best of their abilities. All of our athletes finished strongly, passing other runners all the way to the finish line. Overall, it was very satisfying to end the season on the victory podium”. The medal winning performance was Mesa’s third in the past five seasons.
The cross country team celebrates after winning the PCAC Championship.
Mesa College captured its’ sixth consecutive Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men’s cross country championship at Balboa Park on Thursday, October 29. The dominating performance was achieved with a near perfect score of 18 points. Nine San Diego Mesa athletes made the All-Conference team of the top fifteen finishers.
Leading the way for Mesa were Dylan Marx and Aaron Thomas. Trailing pre-race favorite Ansu Sowa from Southwestern College for the first three miles on the tough four mile course in Balboa Park, Dylan and Aaron made their move together on the famous (and tough) Powder Hill. Quickly storming to the lead, Dylan and Aaron both ran a strong final mile over the hills to finish 1-2. Dylan Marx captured the conference crown with time of 21:35, with Aaron not far behind in second place with a time of 21:43. Sowa held on for third place but not without a threat from Mesa’s third runner, Eric Brown, who closed quickly, finishing fourth with a time of 22:16. Freshman Carlos Bojorquez (5th,22:31 ) and Eddie Ramos (6th, 22:35) finished off the scoring for the winning team. Also achieving All-Conference recognition were Arturo Canela (8th,22:56), Temesgen Petros (12th,23:11), Sal Salinas (14th, 23:34) and Michael Gonia (15th,23:34).
The men’s team now heads to the Southern California Championships with the goal of qualifying for the state championships.