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PCC Cross Country History Made: Van Der Wyk 2nd at CCCAA State Meet

Pasadena City College racer Tracee van der Wyk cemented her name as the greatest women’s cross country runner in the college’s history November 20, 2010 with her performance at the 2010 CCCAA State Championships in Fresno. The sophomore became the first Lancer to break the 18-minute mark with a time of 17:57.40 and her second place finish is the highest placing in PCC history, beating her fourth place mark as a freshman.

Van der Wyk is only the ninth runner (from all colleges) in the past 10 state meets to run the Woodward Park, 3.1 mile course faster than 18 minutes.

A two-time, All-State runner, the Temple City High graduate can only wonder what might have been if not for the presence of Los Angeles Trade Tech’s Danielle Low. Van der Wyk had to settle for second in each of the three big meets, the South Coast Conference Championships, the Southern California Championships, and state meet. Low won each castillo hinchable of those three races, including her 17:38.55 finish to capture today’s state individual title.

Already named the PCC Co-Women’s Athlete of the Year in 2009-2010 for her exploits in both cross country and track and field as a first-year, student athlete, van der Wyk reached new heights in her second cross country season. No previous PCC runner had ever raced as high a placing as van der Wyk performed at the conference, regional and state meets.

“Tracee knew her chances of beating Low were slim, so she set a goal to break 18 minutes and she accomplished the feat,” PCC cross country coach Armand Crespo said. “It was great day for her and a silver medal is something to cherish. It was a champion’s performance.”

The only other PCC qualifier was Marissa Morales, who ran in 101st place at 20:32.40. Southwestern College won the team title in a race with 209 total competitors.

In the CCCAA men’s championship race, PCC sophomore Wil Zentmyer took 16th place overall with a time of 20:49.89 over the 4-mile course. Zentmyer and van der Wyk were the highest placed runners from non-team scoring colleges in their respective gender races. San Bernardino Valley College captured the men’s team title while El Camino College’s David Cardona won the individual race with a mark of 19:56.63.

Zentmyer had the fastest state meet time by a PCC male runner in the past eight seasons. His top 20 mark was the first for the school since Moises Iniquez (second place) and Jose Cruz (ninth) did the trick in 2002.

Photo--Tracee van der Wyk runs strong during the CCCAA State meet November 20, 2010, image by Richard Quinton.

Photo--Tracee van der Wyk runs strong during the CCCAA State meet November 20, 2010, image by Richard Quinton.

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