The Cuesta College men’s cross country team earned a spot in the state meet with a 17th place finish at the Southern California Regional on Saturday at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.
The Cougars were led by a seventh place showing from Gordon Sturgess, who ran the 4-mile course
in 20 minutes and 24 seconds. Omar Cortes of Los Angeles Trade Tech won the race in 19:48.
Sturgess, a Paso Robles High graduate whose finish was the best for a Cuesta runner since Sergio Reyes took second place at the state meet in 1999, earned first-team all-region honors by finishing in the top seven. He qualified for the state meet as an individual in the 5,000-meter race in May, when he finished ninth.
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“He’s been a real good runner for us for a long time,” head coach Brian Locher said.
Cuesta had 495 points at the meet won by San Bernardino Valley, which had 95 points.
It is the fifth year in a row that the men’s team has qualified for the state meet, Locher said.
The Cougars women’s team finished 23rd with 535 points and failed to qualify for the state meet. Orange Coast won the meet with 53 points.
Paso Robles High graduate Lauren Filacci finished 31st in a time of 19:53 and qualified for state as an individual.
Glendale’s Grace Zamudio won the race in 18:09.
The California Community College Athletic Association Cross Country State Championships are scheduled to be held Nov. 17 at Woodward Park in Fresno.