College of the Canyons’ men’s and women’s cross country teams gave strong performances Tuesday at the Western State Conference Championships at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, and both teams likely will compete – along with four individuals – at the Southern California regional championships. The women’s team’s top runner, Jessica Gomez, finished second, covering the 5K course in 19 minutes, 30 seconds and winning first-team All-WSC honors. “I think I ran pretty smart,” the Cal State Northridge-bound Gomez said. “I kept my position on that last mile.” Said coach Belinda Kane: “Coming out of our last home meet, I was really impressed with her. She ran flat there, but she came back on this course.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The women’s team finished eighth out of 11 teams, which normally would be enough to qualify for the postseason. With one conference team not participating, the WSC received only seven automatic berths, and the Cougars must wait for an at-large bid. “I’m 99.9 percent sure we’ll get the bid,” Kane said. “We’re the first team in consideration.” Jana Peterova was the women’s team’s No. 2 runner, finishing 18th (21:04) to qualify for the SoCal meet and claim All-WSC honorable mention. The men’s team qualified with an eighth-place finish. It was led by J.J. Getskow, who missed the season’s first two races because of injury. Getskow was 19th, finishing the 8K course in 22:22, and Salim Benmohammed (22:25) was right behind him, in 20th. Both qualified for the regionals and received All-WSC honorable mention. “We had hoped that (the men’s team) would run that well,” Kane said. “It’s nice to see them all go.” The Nov. 4 regionals in San Diego will be held on a faster, flatter course that could benefit Gomez’s quest to better her third-place time last year. “I’ve been doing some training on my own,” Gomez said. “I’ve been speed training and track training. … The endurance is there, now it’s just the technical stuff.” Continuous improvement: COC’s women’s water polo team needs one more win to post the best record in the program’s five-year history. The Cougars (5-12), led by left-handed freshman Nicole Correa (Hart High), who has 12 goals, has L.A. Valley, Santa Monica, Citrus, Pasadena and San Diego Mesa remaining on their schedule. COC’s best chance will come against Santa Monica on Friday in the Pasadena Tournament. COC has defeated Santa Monica three times this season. It would love to beat L.A. Valley, too. “Valley has beaten us three times this season … but they’re beatable,” coach Diana Stanich said. “If we can counter their speed and play smart, we’ll be OK.” COC has suffered just one major injury, strong-side defender Christine Harrison (rotator cuff). Football honor: The California Community Colleges Commission on Athletics (COA), in partnership with the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA), selected COC’s Marcel Marquez as its Student-Athlete of the Month for September. Marquez, the starting quarterback for the state’s top-ranked football team, has completed 110 of 177 passes this season for 1,661 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also has rushed for a team-high 310 yards on 88 carries and seven touchdowns. COC is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in WSC play. Nate Brown, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!