Eric Barron---Head Coach
For the first time this year, the Western State Conference teams lined up against each other on the reasonably challenging Cuesta College course. Going into the race, Leonard MacComas of the Santa Monica Men's Cross Country team received this advice from his coach, "If you want to win this race, you should not wait until the last 400 meters to take the lead." Taking this to heart, Leonard broke away from the lead pack only 800 meters from the start. This was not exactly what his coach had in mind, but by the time Leonard reached those last 400 meters, it was clear he had chosen well. As a result, Leonard became the first Corsair to win a conference race in several decades.
Next to cross the line for the Corsairs were two athletes making their collegiate debuts; Jack Hockley and Finn Cawley. For first races, Jack and Finn did a fine job, but they know they have more in them, and hopefully they will be able to draw that out in the next few weeks. Similarly, Omar Vargas and Balmore Montes, also freshmen, are just beginning to tap their potential. To achieve it, however, they need to demand more out of themselves. Edwin Dominguez finished in between those two, but on a good day, he should be much higher in the standings. Chris Church-Bryant and Gabriel Lodato had strong performances based on their relative times from the prior week. Like Jack and Finn, Eric Montelongo lined up for the Corsairs for the first time ever this week, and he picked a tough course for that, but survived. Yulong Son made big strides in his second career race, running faster on this course than he did on the easier Golden West course from last week. Finally, Giovanni Policarpo had a bad day on the Cuesta hills.