Tour de Cuesta Invitational
The Hartnell College cross country teams traveled south down Highway 101 to San Luis Obispo for the Tour de Cuesta hosted Cuesta College. Run on one of only dedicated cross country courses, the Tour de Cuesta follows a unique format similar to the cycling race Tour de France. Special awards are given to runners for reaching the first mile the fastest, the top of K.B. Hill first, for being the best freshman runner in the race, and for the overall champion. The meet was attended by not only the host and Hartnell College, but by College of the Sequoias, Citrus College, West Hills College, Saddleback College, Moorpark College, Santiago Canyon College, and a club team from Cal Poly SLO.
Brandi Hobson lead the Lady Panthers to a second place team finish behind winner Saddleback. Hobson crossed the line in third overall at 20:10. She was followed closely by teammates Malena Grover in fourth (20:20) and Rachel Shimabukuro in fifth (20:42). Lizette Garcia in twelfth (21:35) and Maritza Ruelas in fourteenth (21:43) also managed to place in the top fourteen.
The Panthers will compete next at the historic Lou Vasquez Invitational at Golden Gate Park on Thursday, September 18.
For full Tour de Cuesta Invitational results
The Lady Panthers were lead by experience and youth with sophomore Brandi Hobson placing tenth overall in 19:19. The mark was 13 seconds faster than she ran last November at the State championship and the sixth best in school history. She is just 17 seconds from breaking Victoria Alcala's school all-time best of 19:02 set in 2012. . Hobson was the third overall Northern California female. She guided freshman Malena Grover, formerly of Salinas High School, to eighteenth place in 19:42. Grover's time is the eleventh best in school history. Rachel Shimabukuro (20:20), Maritza Ruelas (20:24), Maria Rodriguez (20:52), Nancy Rodriguez (20:53), and Lizette Garcia (20:54) completed the scoring seven for the Lady Panthers. As a team, the women too placed fifth overall but were victorious overall other Northern California team.
The Panthers were travel to Cuesta College on Friday to compete in the Tour de Cuesta on the Fairbanks Cross Country Course in San Luis Obispo.