Men Finish Solid Seventh at State

The 2019 Hartnell College men's cross country outran their ranking to place seventh overall and third for Northern California teams.
The 2019 Hartnell College men's cross country outran their ranking to place seventh overall and third for Northern California teams.

After an rollercoast season for the Hartnell College men that saw them win the Beat the Heat and Chabot Invitationals, the men would struggle with various injuries and inconsistent individual performances placing uncharacteristically low at the Modesto Invitational and Norcal Preview Meet. Even their string of Coast Conference titles and top 3 finishers in the region were broken. Despite all, the team was able to produce their best all around effort in the final race of the season. The men returned to the top 10 in the state and even placed seventh just one point out of sixth behind Norcal runner-up College of the Sequoias. They also bested the Coast Conference and regional third place finisher DeAnza College by 75 points.

Sophomore Jesus Avalos improved from 85th to 23rd with his second shot at the quality state field of runners. He was followed less than a second later by his heir apparent Isaac Gensel in 24th. Both were timed in 21:18. Although not an improvement on Avalos's season best, Gensel lowered her state preview mark of 21:45 by 27 seconds. He moves to 25th best all-time and one of the best showings by a true freshman. Juan Gutierrez III moved back into the line-up after sitting out the regional meet to place 57th in his first state meet at 21:52. Rigo Garcia in 70th (22:02), Jiovanni Garcia was 90th (22:14), Elliot Riuz at 92nd (22:15) and Daniel Correa 104th (22:23) rounded out the team. With five freshmen competing and placing in the top 104 of the field, the Panthers will have the experience on their side in 2020. All five of the competing freshmen ran lifetime bests for the four mile course at Woodward Park. 

The Panthers finish the season ranked seventh in the state annd third in the region, just one point from second. Jesus Avalos continues the streak of Coast Conference indivdual champions. The Panthers have seven returning all-conference runners. These include Isaac Gensel, Rigo Garcia, Jiovanni Garcia, Alexis Ojeda, Elliot Ruiz, Joseph Loredo, Daniel Correa. Gensel will turn as the conference favorite and second best freshman in the region. This will be one of the largest returning classes with championship season accolades in 2020.