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Cross country team races to third place

The Mills College cross country team placed third overall in the women’s race, and first in the division III conference during their only home meet of the semester.

The 22nd Cross Country Invitational hosted 14 teams, seven of which had female runners participating.

Senior Lupe Cazares finished 15th place out of 90 total female runners. Her final time was 21 minutes and 14 seconds on a 5K course that laced through campus, including a stretch past the Sunnyside Cemetery and up Pine Top Hill.

Kirin Khan and Chelsea DeSouza, neither on the cross country team, volunteered to participate in the open meet. (Jennifer Courtney)
Senior athletes Kirin Khan and Chelsea DeSouza run in the meet. (Jennifer Courtney)

“It was definitely a fun race, good weather and good competition,” said senior Perla Cantu, who came in seventh on the Mills team. “Overall, it was awesome.”

The men’s race included 84 runners on an 8K course.

“II liked the hill. It was challenging and the scenery was nice,” said Roger Grijalva, who came in 70th place for the men’s race.

“Back at UC Merced, we don’t have that kind of hill,” Grijalva said.

Arturo Arriaga, from Sacramento City College, came in first place for the men’s 5-mile race while Jessica DiMascio, a non-collegiate athlete, came in first for the women’s 3.1-mile race.

Division II athletes included Cal State Monterey Bay and San Francisco State University, who placed first in both races.

Men invade campus for the Invitational. (Jennifer Courtney)
Male athletes come to campus too for the Invitational. (Jennifer Courtney)

“I am definitely excited. We ran a lot of miles to prepare,” Joe Krtil said before his race.

Krtil ran for Sacramento City College, coming in 33rd place for the men’s race.

Kim Crouch from Sacramento City College, who came in second for the women’s race, also enjoyed the invitational.

“It felt good, it was a good course and I think the team did really well,” she said.

A lot of volunteers came to cheer and help the players out during the race by handing out water and directing people throughout the course.

Alumna Loke Davis came out to the event to continue her hostess duties throughout the event.

“This was the third time I have been an MC,” said Davis, who graduated in Spring 2009.

“It went smoothly, and each year it gets better. There were a lot of hardcore athletes out there. I don’t know if I could do the same,” Davis added.

This was the sixth invitational hosted by Mills College, with hopes for high school athletes to compete in future invitationals on campus.

“It would be a huge initiative to add high school races,” said Laura Davis, Mills head coach of the cross-country team.

“Every year, we always take these races a step further.”