Halfway through Saturday's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship race, the San Bernardino Valley College men's cross country team looked poised to keep its 22-year conference championship streak alive.
The Wolverines had three runners in the top five as the race turned the corner toward the two-mile mark of the four-mile race.
But that's where San Diego Mesa's team, which won the Southern California Preview race in September, made its move. And the Olympians ran away from the field to take the championship at Cal State San Bernardino.
For the Wolverines, it was a mixed bag of results. Returning All-American Carlos de la Torre, who has struggled at times this season, led the Wolverines during the race, finishing fifth with a time of 20 minutes, 46.2 seconds. Sophomore Michael Ramirez, who has been strong throughout the season, tailed off from his season average with a ninth-place finish at 20:55.4. Luis Garcia clocked an 11th place finish at 21:14.7.
The Wolverines did take second in the team competition, with Mauricio Ramos (17th, 21:33.4), Humberto Guzman (18th, 21:36.8) and Isaiah Gonzalez (20th, 21:43.8) turning in top 20 finishes. Alvaro Heredia was the final scoring runner with a 27th place finish at 22:10.1, with Anthony Salgado finishing 5.7 seconds later in 28th. The Wolverines posted an average time of 21:13.3 for the race.
Now the focus will go to the Southern California Championships, which are set for Cerritos on Nov. 2.