Courtesy EPCC cross country
Cross country women competing at Las Cruces meet in NMSU.
Yvonne Del Rio
EPCC women’s cross country team ran the Kachina Classic Golf Course and finished second on Saturday, Sept. 20 at NMSU. UTEP placed third and NMSU placed first.
From EPCC placing 3rd out of 32 women was Mercy Rotich (19:12), behind her was Andrea Amaro (20:05), Kayla Pallares (20:06), Brittany Parga (20:30), Mindy Rincon (21:23), Elida Pargas (21:33), Irine Chelagat (21:55), Crista Villalobos (22:20), Brienna Mitchell(23:07) and Cynthia Garcia (23:53).
“I will do anything I have to do to get better,” Villalobos said. “I prepare myself mentally that whole week before a race.”
“Looking at the time from my last race, that doesn’t hold me back. It just motivates me to keep going and to get better. I just want to be better than what I am right now, and I want to see the improvement.”
Coming back from an injury, Villalobos continues to push herself.
“It’s been very hard coming back to race with other strong runners, but what I tried to do is pray before the race,” Villalobos said. ”My big goal is to reach the 5k in 19:30.
“That’s my new personal record that I have in mind because I want to prove to myself that I can do that and more,”
Her times usually range between 20 and 22 minutes.
“At some point I was already thinking about giving up, but something told me, ‘no, don’t give up.’” Villalobos said. “I’m still working on my form and speed. I tried having a powerful mind this past race and even my coach was impressed.
“God gave me the strength, didn’t take the pain away, but just gave me the strength to finish strong.”