RIVERSIDE -- Nearly missing its team goal (by a little more one second), the Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers men's cross country team was the top California community college (one of three community college teams) to gain a team score (minimum five finishing racers) and finished in 19th place (among 23 teams) at the 35th Annual UC Riverside (UCR) Invitational Saturday morning (Sept. 12), which was contested on the UCR Agricultural Operations Course.
RCC posted a team score of 506 points with adjusted individual places of 58th, 98th, 111th, 118th, and 121st. Southern Utah University won the meet (44 points) which covered a distance of 8.0 kilometers (approximately five miles). Gilbert Kigen of Central Arizona College won the race with a time of 23:46.3.
RCC's top finisher was freshman Joshua Silva (Corona / Corona HS '15), who was 58th overall (25:41.9), followed by sophomore Jeronimo Brito (Corona / La Sierra HS '14), who was 98th overall (26:33.0), sophomore Dennis Gonzalez (Cathedral City / Cathedral City HS '14), who was 111th overall (26:48.3), freshman Rolando Phalen (Riverside / M.L. King HS '15), who was 118th overall (26:59.9), and freshman Anthony Arvizu (Temecula / Great Oak HS '15), who was 121st overall (27:01.9).
Additionally for RCC, freshman Michael Simpson (Moreno Valley / Canyon Springs HS '15) was 125th overall (27:18.4) and freshman Chris Malloy (Murrieta / Vista Murrieta HS '15) was 130th overall (27:28.9).
"The guys did a great job sticking to the race plan," said ninth year RCC head men's cross country coach Jim McCarron. "Our goal was to have five runners under 27 minutes and we nearly did that with our fifth runner Anthony Arvizu, at 27:01.
"I was really pleased with how Josh Silva and Jeronimo Brito ran." added McCarron. "Josh (Silva) ran a great time of 25: 41, which is the third-fastest for a Tiger for this course. Jeronimo (Brito) ran 26:33 and did so after starting poorly. I really like how he moved up throughout the race," concluded McCarron.
Riverside will next be in action on Friday, Sept. 18, when it participates in the annual SoCal Preview at Mission Bay in San Diego at 10 a.m.