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College of the Canyons finished third at the Western State Conference (WSC) Championship meet on Friday at the Legg Lake Recreation Area in South El Monte. All six runners posted season-best times, including freshman Danielle Salcedo who won the event to take home the individual conference crown. —Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 
College of the Canyons finished third at the Western State Conference (WSC) Championship meet on Friday at the Legg Lake Recreation Area in South El Monte. All six runners posted season-best times, including freshman Danielle Salcedo who won the event to take home the individual conference crown. —Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

Cougars Finish Third at WSC Championships, Salcedo Takes Individual Crown

Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

SOUTH EL MONTE — College of the Canyons freshman Danielle Salcedo won for the sixth time this season, claiming individual Western State Conference (WSC) championship honors and helping lead the Cougars to a third place result at the conference championship meet at the Legg Lake Recreation Area on Friday.

Salcedo is the first runner in program history to win an individual WSC cross country championship. Her time of 18:02.1 on the 5K course at Legg Lake was her best in a community college event this season. Salcedo also remains undefeated in community college events. On Friday, Salcedo's time bested the second-place finished by an even 22 seconds.  

The win comes just one week after Salcedo, who was named the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) State Athlete of the Month for September, topped the field at the Mt. San Antonio College Invite, which annually attracts the top teams and runners in the state.

COC freshman Milca Osorio ran a very strong race for the Cougars, turning in a season-best time of 19:25.4 to place fourth and give her team a big boost. Osorio has now finished in the top five at four events this season, including the WSC preview and championship meets. Her time on Friday represented a season best.

Canyons sophomore Sarah Zamudio ran the best race of her two-year Cougar career on Friday, clocking in at 20:32.1 in the 21st place spot. That time was nearly a minute faster than her mark at the WSC Preview meet on Oct. 1. Coincidently, Zamudio's 21st place finish at the 2021 WSC Championships equaled her result at the 2019 WSC Championships, but was 2:38 faster than her freshman run.

Cougar freshman Trinity Winslow was 27th at a pace of 21:06.9, which also represented a season-best time. Winslow's time on Friday was more than two minutes faster than her mark at the WSC Preview. 

Sophomore Diana Perez, who also ran for the Cougars in 2019, turned in a time of 21:54.9 to take 31st in the field of 65. Perez was running in just her third event of the season, but was the final runner to score for Canyons.

Freshman Maylani Perez followed close behind in 35th place at a time of 22:39.2, but did not count into the final team score. Her time also represented a season best.

"All the girls ran great today," said COC cross country head coach Lindie Kane. "Everyone posted personal record times, so it was an exciting day for the Cougars."

Canyons finished third in the team standings with 79 points, falling just behind second place Cuesta College at 76. Cuesta's scoring runners finished 3, 5, 19, 23 and 26. 

Glendale College won the race and the WSC championship with a score of 64. The Vaqueros finished 7, 8, 13, 14, 22 to take the conference crown. 

Moorpark College (92), Bakersfield (106), Ventura (120), Oxnard (130) and Allan Hancock (214) filled out the women's field.

COC's men's team entered three runners in the meet, with all posting season-best times in the finale.

COC freshman Alejandro Chavez finished 79th at 25:57.3, representing a nearly five-minute improvement from his first race this season at the Canyons Invitational on Sept. 3.

Freshmen Vinnie Fatta (26:24.9) and Chanchoi Krasaesin (26:35.9) finished 86th and 87th, respectively. Krasaesin's time was nearly three minutes faster than his pace at the WSC Preview. Fatta also showed marked improvement, trimming approximately 3:30 off his time between the two conference meets.

Canyons did not factor into men's team scoring. Moorpark (38) won the conference title followed by Glendale (44) and Bakersfield (74). 

COC's women's team will next compete at the CCCAA Southern California Regional Championships being held Friday, Nov. 5 at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley.

From there, qualifying teams and individual runners will head to the CCCAA State Championship on Nov. 20 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.