Delta cross country prepares to compete in NorCal championships

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Maria Soto-Aguilar earned a spot on the Big 8 Conference first team. Photo by Jason Ortega

The men and women’s cross country teams are nearing the end of the 2019 season with major qualifier events happening this month.

On Nov. 1, Delta athletes participated in the Big 8 Conference Championship held at Legion Park in Modesto. Runners Maria Soto-Aguilar and Vivianna Gardea earned first and second team All-Conference honors.

“I was really happy with the performances of both men and women teams at Big 8,” said coach Lauryn Seales. “Cross country is all about self improvement and each of my players did exactly that! All of them left the meet with personal bests for that course.”

“It was certainly a challenge but overall I enjoyed it a lot,” said Soto-Aguilar who was pleased with her performance in Modesto.

“Freshmen Maria Soto-Aguilar and Vivianna Gardea are truly our one two punch runners,” said Seales. “They came into my program and really bought in and have worked hard. Their results are a predictor of their hard work and if this continues, next year will be even better!”

Both men’s and women’s teams qualified to participate in the CCCAA NorCal Cross Country Championships at Toro Park in Salinas, on Friday, Nov. 8. The Toro Park course is known to be tough for its multi-hill terrain. 18 teams qualified to compete in NorCal and the top seven teams in this event will qualify for the state CCCAA Cross Country Championships to be held in Fresno later this month.

“Cross country has truly been a blessing to me. The meets are fun, beautiful, and do not last long,” said Seales about coaching a sport like cross country. “It’s the most inexpensive sport on campus, yet is a sport that everyone can do. You only need a pair of shoes and anyone can train for it. Most of my athletes who compete here gain lifelong friends from the team. It is an individual sport but also a team sport as well. For an athlete, being able to focus on your personal goals and reaching them is so rewarding.”