The Citrus College Cross Country teams have been running races all over the state for decades, but in the last decade they have been quite a bit homesick. That's because it's been ten years since Citrus hosted a race as the home team. That time is now past, as Citrus head coach Alicia Longyear and her assistants put on a well run, flawless event today at Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas. The original start times were for later in the afternoon, but were moved up due to the high heat index. The runners would be appreciative as the temps still soared into the high 90's for the beginning of the women's race at noon.
The women's race started off with a bang, as over 70 runners dashed across the starting line, jockeying for early position. The Citrus Women's runners looked strong through the first half of the race, and continued to hold respectable positions throughout. The top finisher for Citrus would be Marissa Montoya in 12th place, a time of 21:37.10 and an average mile time of 6:57.5. The Citrus Women would finish 6th overall in an incredibly difficult field.
The men's race would feature 97 runners, and some of the top athletes in the state. The start was intense as runners pushed through the pack to vie for good position going into the trail sections. The leader pack was spread thin for the first portion of the race, until the last mile, which features a widowmaker hill. The hill, which must have been daunting for the flatlander teams, is approximately an 11% grade and would test even the strongest of runners. But the top men's runners didn't blink an eye at the site of the hill, sprinting up at an impressive clip, even catching the mountain biking 'rabbit' at one point.
The top men's finisher for Citrus would be Watts Waddington with a time of 25:12.40 and an average mile of 6:18.1. The men would finish unranked as a team, as two runners were unable to finish. The next race for Citrus is the Tour De Cuesta, in San Luis Obispo on the 6th of October.