XC: Roberts is top finisher among Vaqueros at State Championships

Ian Roberts finished seventh in the State Community College Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno, helping SBCC to one of its highest finishes in many years.

Roberts, a sophomore from Ventura High, covered the 4-mile course in a personal-best 20:29 to earn All-American honors. He won the WSC title this year and placed second in the Southern Cal Regional. Teammate Alex Heuchert was 26th in 21:05 and Martin Montes took 67th in 21:38.

Luis Luna of American River was the individual champ in the 203-man field, clocking 19:58. American River won the team title with 72 points and Orange Coast was second with 93.

The Vaquero men placed 11th with 347 points. It was their best finish in Scott Fickerson’s six seasons as head coach and they were the second-highest WSC team (Canyons took ninth).

SBCC’s Nicole Bartlett finished 13th for the second straight year in the women’s 5K race, just two weeks after placing 45th in the Southern Cal Regional. She improved on her Regional time by 1:38, clocking a personal-best 18:49 to earn All-American status. Bartlett got a late start this season, due to injury, and Saturday was only her fourth race of the year.

“Nicole ran a phenomenal race in her last meet when it counted the most,” said Fickerson. “I’m really proud of her.”

The Vaquero women took 19th in the State, just one spot lower than their 18th-place Southern Cal finish. Orange Coast won the 27-team women’s race, beating out Glendale 73-126.

“All our women ran season bests or close to it,” Fickerson noted. “They really stepped up and ran a great race.”

Laura Aceves of East L.A. was the individual champion in 17:42.

State Championships
At Woodward Park

Team (27 schools) — 1, American River 72. 2, Orange Coast 93. 3, San Bernardino Valley 122. 11, SBCC 347.
Individual (4 miles, 203 finishers) – 1, Luis Luna, American River, 19:58..
SBCC runners — 7, Ian Roberts 20:29. 26, Alex Heuchert 21:05. 67, Martin Montes 21:38. 120, Brian Santiago 22:22. 158, Andy Hernandez 23:08. 178, Zeph Alva 23:37. 197, Octavio Magdaleno 24:37.

Team (27 schools) — 1, Orange Coast 73. 2, Glendale 126. 19, SBCC 458.
Individual (5K, 207 finishers) – 1, Laura Aceves, East L.A., 17:42.
SBCC runners — 13, Nicole Bartlett 18:49. 107, Katie Huntington 20:23. 113, Mia Owens 20:27. 144, Alexa Sanchez 21:01. 149, Dana Grevenkamp 21:08. 205, Rachel Zook 25:43.