Cross Country team finishes strong


Sophomore runner Germay Tesfai earned All-American honors in his last race at FCC.

Story By: Cox Odia, Rampage Reporter

The Fresno City College cross country team capped off their season with a solid performance at the California Community College Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17.

Matt Airlola from American River finished first place overall in the men’s four mile race while Katie Castro from De Anza took first place in the women’s race.

Orange Coast took first place overall in team scores for the women’s teams with a time of 1:34:52 and in the men’s race American River College placed first in team scores with a time of 1:43:31.

For the Rams, the men took 14th place overall in the meet highlighted by a 10th place finish from sophomore runner Germay Tesfai, who set a personal record and earned All-American honors while fighting a cold.

“I got really sick before. I felt a little discouraged, but by race day I felt better and I was aiming for top 14 which would earn me All-American honors. I ended up taking tenth place and overcame my sickness,” said Tesfai.

Freshman Marty Rowell finished with a personal record time of 21:23 and Juan Navia finished with a time of 24:04:29, Ben Cabrera finished close after with a time of 22:05:65, freshman Scott Ramirez finished with a time of 23:42:63, freshman Garret Sons finished with a 23:53 time and sophomore Martin Ramirez finished with a time of 23:33.

Tesfai was very pleased with the teams overall performance and their individual personal records.

“Most of the guys PR’d so we all did great as a whole. I knew if I was feeling good with one mile to go, that I could smash my personal record, I was very happy,” said Tesfai.

With Tesfai’s career at Fresno City College now over, he is looking forward to his future at a higher level.

“I want to continue my career as a student athlete at the university level and reach my full potential,” said Tesfai.

In the women’s race, the Rams placed 26th in overall standings with runners Sandra Navarro and Megan Gerbrandt finishing with an identical time of 20:54, freshman Nora Cantor finished with a time of 21:13, Rebeckah Madison finished with a time of 22:14 and Kayla Burnett capped of a solid afternoon with a time of 26:50.

Cross country head coach Gary Bluth was very happy with the team’s overall performance this year.

“I was very happy with our results, the fact that both teams qualified for the state championships and almost all of the kids ran lifetime bests at the meet,” said Bluth. “The key factor was Germay Tesfai not only ran his fastest time on the course by 25 seconds, but he placed tenth overall which kept him ranked No. 2 in the north and earned him All-American honors.”

Bluth was very proud of his team’s endurance and dedication throughout the season.

“The only thing you can ask for is for an athlete to do their best,” said Bluth. “When they do that regardless of what place they come in, you have to be happy with their results, and they competed extremely well.”