Panthers Win Norcal Title Lead by 1-2 Finish

Panthers Win Norcal Title Lead by 1-2 Finish
Hartnell College sophomores Edgar Bonilla and Jorge Sanchez have developed a habit of finishing races side by side in the second half of the cross country season. Their 1-2 finish at the Northern California Championship at Sierra College was the third time this season the duo was separated by less than 1 second at the end of the race. They bested Norcal Regional Preview Champion Ozzie Hassan of American River College and the rest of the field by 9 seconds. Their identical times of 21:25 establish a Sierra College course was over 50 seconds faster than the pair ran back in September. Sanchez was awarded the individual title with Bonilla second. They lead a charge of five Panthers who would earn All-Region honors by placing in the top 14 overall. Sophomore Mario Perez, Jr. worked his way up to fifth overall (22:00) followed closely by teammate Andrew Martinez in ninth (22:15). Williams Ordaz completed the scoring in fourteenth (22:26). The Panthers tallied j ust 31 points to win their first Northern California title since 2006 and end a six year stranglehold on the title by American River College, the defending state champion. Las Positas College was second with 90 points and American River College in third with 91 points. Oscar Mora, Jr. placed 24th (22:46) and Angel Mejia, Jr. in 26th (22:49) also competed for the Panthers. Bonilla and Sanchez repeated their all-region honors with Perez, Martinez, and Ordaz picking up their first honors. The men will attempt to improve on their fifth place team finish at the CCCAA State Championship from last year on November 19 at Woodward Park in Fresno.