By DIEGO LOZANO III
With last season yielding mixed results for the Pima Community College men’s and women’s cross-country teams, head coach Greg Wenneborg is uncertain what to expect this time around.
At the NJCAA National Championships in November 2012, the women took seventh place while the men competed above hopes with a 10th-place finish.
Wenneborg described this season’s expectations as moderate. His revamped roster of runners consists mainly of new faces from different places.
“We’ve got a lot of promise on the women’s side,” he said. “We have a solid group of ladies.”
The Aztec racers made their way to Flagstaff on Sept. 7 for their first crack at competition for the George Kyte Invitational.
Wenneborg deemed the event an opportunity for his runners to get their feet wet.
“It will test to see if they did their homework this summer,” he said.
Sophomore Nikki Regalado passed the test as she treaded through lengthy competition in her five-kilometer (3.1 mile) race. She completed her route in 18 minutes, 27 seconds to claim second place out of 58 participants.
Freshmen teammates Sarrah Boughan and Col’Bi Nez placed 23rd and 29th respectively, which contributed to a fourth-place finish for the women’s bunch overall.
“I think they’re adapting pretty well,”Regaldo said. “They were all kind of nervous the first meet but I think they handled the pressure pretty well.”
Wenneborg complimented sophomores Kelsey Montano and Regalado as two returners who personify work ethic and success.
Regalado expects the women to place within the top 10 at the NJCAA National Championships in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
“I know we have a really, really good group of girls,” she said.
On the men’s side, lone freshman Anthony Spendlove performed well in his 4K event during the Flagstaff meet, finishing 11th after clocking a 20:02 race time.
However, the men’s squad failed to register a scoring team.
“We just try to let them know it’s a long season,” Wenneborg said. “Consistent, daily work will make them better.”
PCC racing will return to Tucson on Sept. 20 for the Dave Murray Invitational at Randolph Golf Course.