Courtesy EPCC Cross Country
Yvonne Del Rio
The EPCC cross country women’s team finished first at NJCAA Region V Championships at Harry McAdams Park in Hobbs, NM on Oct. 25, allowing them to advance to nationals.
Coach Felix Hinojosa said that even though the team won the race, it was not their best effort.
“You know, we’re happy and we love bringing good recognition to our college, but they were not satisfied,” Hinojosa said.
Mercy Rotich, EPCC runner who finished first overall, said she had higher expectations.
“It feels good to be first, but I was disappointed because my time was slow compared to my last race,” she said.
“I’m planning to train hard and to stay focused because I believe that when you train hard you will win easy. I want to run my personal best in nationals.”
The runners worked together to place first as a team with Rotich (1st, 18:59), Kayla Pallares (4th, 19:12), Andrea Amaro (5th, 19:21), Shannon Luevano (11th, 20:17), Brittany Parga (12th, 20:32), Mindy Rincon (13th, 20:42), and Elida Pargas (16th, 21:21). They scored 31 points.
Hinojosa said that for the next race they plan on working on their enthusiasm and focus while running.
At the next race, which will take place in two weeks, there will be around 350 runners.
“Physically we’re at the point where we start to sharpen mentally; we are trying to get better at running in clusters, in groups,” Hinojosa said.
“We’ll be prepared for the nationals.”