Diane Lombardi leads a pack of runners downhill during the 65th Mt. SAC Invitational held Friday in Walnut, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.
In the history of Pasadena City College women's cross country races, Diane Lombardi became only the third Lancer to ever break the 19-minute mark over a 3-mile course Friday. The sophomore posted an 18:57 time in finishing ninth overall at the 65th Mt. SAC Invitational in Walnut.
Lombardi's impressive run helped the Lancers to a seventh place team finish, the highest by a PCC team at Mt. SAC since 2002. Lombardi joined an elite pair of Tracee van der Wyk, a PCC record 17:57 at the 2010 CCCAA State Championships, and Silavy Sin, 18:44 mark at the 2000 SCC Championships, as the only PCC runners to break the 19-minute mark. Ironically, Sin also raced at that same Mt. SAC course. Van der Wyk ran an 18:20 at the Mt. SAC course during the 2010 SCC meet.
PCC competed at the Mt. SAC Invitational for the first time since 2009, but had been a regular participant in previous years.
After Lombardi (from Crescenta Valley High), Pasadena finishers in order were: sophomore Arielle Steimer-Barragan, 43rd, 20:02; freshman Christina Shamirian, 46th, 20:06; freshman Tanya Hossain, 54th, 20:26; sophomore Melissa Hadloc, 90th, 21:36; frosh Kailaddni Chave, 122nd, 22:35, and first-year runner Linda Flores-Barillas, 126th, 22:46.
Pasadena placed five runners in the upper half of the 26 colleges and 200 runners participating. Among South Coast Conference colleges, PCC was third behind first-place Cerritos and second-place Mt. SAC. Lombardi was the fourth fastest of South Coast racers.
For the second straight meet, PCC runner Jessica Nunez, an early top runner for the Lancers, missed due to illness.
The Lancers will now prepare for the Big Three meets, starting first with the South Coast Conference Championships on Saturday, October 27. The SCC meet will be held at El Dorado Park in Long Beach.