The San Bernardino Valley College women's cross country team won its second Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship in three years Saturday morning at Cal State San Bernardino.
Freshman Alissa Johnson took control of the 5K race early, and ended up winning with a time of 18 minutes, 57 seconds, more than 30 seconds ahead of Imperial Valley's Sabrina Benavides, who finished second.
"Alissa had a motor that just won't quit," said coach Eric Abrams after the race. "Sabrina took the pace out hard through 200 meters, and Alissa responded in the second 200 to take the lead and never look back. At the mile mark, she made the decision to press the pace and she did, finishing what she started."
A trio of Wolverines crossed the finish line within seconds to take the fifth through seventh spots. Sophomore Alyssa Benavides crossed the line at 20:10.1, with teammate Brandy Ayala crossing just .6 seconds behind. Darilyn Hernandez was right behind, fiinshing at 20:16.6.
"I am so proud of my entire team for their effort on the course," Abrams said. "Today was their day to shine. And in their triumph, I saw the perserverance and drive that they have needed to get to this point in the season. But they all know that this only the first step to a larger goal of a top finish at the state meet."
Jessica Aguilera finished in 11th, with a time of 20:41.6, just three tenths of a second from 10th place. Lilly Armendariz finished 15th at 21:11.3, with Jayda Martinez taking the last team scoring spot in 17th at 21:26.6, and Kiani Fernandes was not far behind with a time of 21:36.7.
The Wolverines won the team title with an average time of 20:03, earning the low score of 30 points. Palomar was second with 71 points, Imperial Valley third at 93 and San Diego City at 99.