Fresno Invitational First Test for Panther Women

Five women run up hill
Panther women attack the first hill at Woodward Park.

Heading into the 2019 Fresno Invitational, the Hartnell College women knew a third consecutive win would be very challenging as once again they faced the perennial powers from Southern California in Glendale College and Mt. SAC. Between those two programs, numerous state team championship have been won. This year's group of Panther women are looking to become the first from Northern California to win the CCCAA State Championship since the small and large school divisions were combined. In the last five years, Hartnell College has gotten tantalizing close finshing second overall in 2015 and 2018. 

Lead by sophomores Daniela Salazar and Isabelle Torres, the Panthers gave Glendale a terrfic early season push. Although unable to win for a third  year in a row, the Panthers did place a close second with Glendale College tallying 26 points and Hartnell 46 points. The two schools were the only to score less than 100 points. Between the two, they would place nine runners in the top 14 and eleven in the top 20. Both teams had nearly identical scoring spread with Glendale getting their top five women to cross the line within 49 seconds with Hartnell at 51 seconds. The time for the third to fifh runners also mirrored each other with Glendale taking just 31 seconds to get their third, fourth, and fifth runners to cross the line. The Panthers did slightly better with just 29 seconds. Salazar would place fourth overall, the same position as her freshman year. Her time of 19:28 was 10 seconds faster than 2018. She was followed in eighth by Torres who bettered her time from the CCCAA Championship lowering it to 19:37. Newcomers Shantal Martinez (19:50) and Valeria Gomez-Lozano (19:55) followed closely in tenth and eleventh overall. Martinez bettered her time from high school. This was Gomez-Lozano's first experience at Woodward Park and a lifetime cross country best. Mariah Changco placed a solid eighteenth (20;19) followed by sophomore Nerina Campos (20:22). Campos was as high as twelfth heading into the final mile and play a large role come November. Freshman Joanna Macias placed 28th (21:01) in her first run at Woodward Park to complete the top seven. 

The Panthers will travel to Livermore on Saturday, September 14 for the Coast Conference Preview. The meet will be hosted on the campus of Las Positas College.