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De Anza College track team breaks records at qualifying meet

November 20, 2016

(From left) Michele Perez-Lopez, 20, communications major, and Alyssa Renteria, 20, psychology major, pose with De Anza Dons’ 2nd place trophy. Photos courtesy of Andrew Kaila

 

De Anza College’s track team has competed tirelessly in championships across the state and the region and their hard work has paid off.

De Anza’s track team, coached by Nick Mattis, broke records, as four sophomores qualified for a state meet. The four runners planning to compete are on the all-regional team.

At the qualifying meet, the women finished second overall out of all schools in Northern California, the highest finish the women’s team have had since 2012.

The men finished fourth, and it has been about 40 years since they’ve finished in the top five, making this a historic victory.

This is the tenth year that both men and women runners have qualified for the cross country state meet. It’s the second longest streak of all schools in NorCal.

Michele Perez-Lopez, 20, a communications major said the excitement of the event hasn’t yet hit her. “

It doesn’t really hit until I’m on the starting line and I realize this is State and it might happen right now,” said Perez-Lopez.

She finished fifth place at the qualifying meet, and was first place on the De Anza team. She competed with about 125 other women.

Juan Pablo Magana, and Ralph Balaoing, both 19-year-old political science majors, didn’t know about breaking a historic record until days before the event.

“We found out about it maybe two days after,” said Magana.

Balaoing and Magana competed with about 170 other men. Magana finished in sixth place overall, and Ralph finished twelfth.

The last time anyone has finished above sixth place has happened was in 1977.

The Dons are scheduled to attend the cross country meet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. It will take place in Fresno.

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