Canyons men end 39-year drought and ARC's short streak

Canyons men end 39-year drought and ARC's short streak

(FRESNO)  If the success of College of the Canyons' men's team and Mt. San Antonio

College's women's team at the California Community College Cross Country Championships is a harbinger of the winter to come, then California reservoirs and rivers will fill and flow. Both races were drought-busters for the winners!

   While most were looking at American River College's great potential at a fourth straight men's state title, College of the Canyons was saying 'not so fast, we're faster.' They proved it at Fresno's picturesque Woodward Park by outpointing ARC in a two-team duel over four miles, 79-86. Orange Coast was a distant third at 157.

   The last and only time COC won a state cross country championship was the Small Schools title in 1975. Ironically, at Woodward Park. This 2014 win, ended a 39-year drought as sophomore Grant Stromberg led the way finishing 7th (20:26). The key was his next four teammates finishing 15th, 16th, 19th and 20th. They were: Rodrigo Ornelas (20:38), Ethan Walker (20:39), Jason Hillquist (20:45) and Robert Pion (20:47). Walker and Hillquist are freshmen.

   Meanwhile, four of the top five individual runners were sophomores. Hartnell's NorCal champion Diego Leon (20:10) added a state championship finishing three seconds ahead of Orange Coast's Lucio Ramirez (20:13), the SoCal champ. Cuesta's Connor Fisher (20:17) and Alex Heuchert (20:20) of Santa Barbara were third and fourth. Antelope Valley freshman Brad 

Wiggs (20:22) was a very close fifth. In fact, only 27 seconds separated the top 14 finishers. They qualified as All-Americans.

Complete Results

The following runners who placed one through 14 in their respective 2014 California Community College Championship races at Fresno's Woodward Park have received All-America recognition.


No. Runner (School), Yr.                                                  Time

1.    Diego Leon (Hartnell), So.                                            20:09.4

2.    Lucio Ramirez (Orange Coast), So.                               20:12.6

3.    Connor Fisher (Cuesta), So.                                          20:16.5

4.    Alex Heuchert (Santa Barbara), So.                               20:19.3

5.    Brad Wiggs (Antelope Valley), Fr.                                 20:21.6

6.    Teddy Kassa (El Camino), So.                                       20:23.1

7.    Kevin Matthews (Mt. SanAntonio), So.                          20:24.0

8.    Grant Stromberg (College of the Canyons), So.                20:25.8

9.    Brandon Ferguson (Orange Coast), So.                           20:27.7

10.  Sean Gregg (American River), Fr.                                  20:29.0

11.  Omar Torres (Long Beach), So.                                     20:34.0

12.  Sean Jagerson (American River), So.                              20:35.6

13.  Francisco Ortiz (Cerritos), So.                                         20:36.2

14.  Abdul Hamid (American River), Fr.                                 20:36.7


* = 2013 All-American