BAKERSFIELD - At this point in the season it's really about surviving and advancing.
Both Mariah Theologidy and Carolina Gonzalez have been plagued with nagging injuries according to Marauder cross country coach Josh Villalobos, however, both still put those injuries aside and were able to advance to the Southern California Championships after competing in the Western State Conference Championships, Friday afternoon in Bakersfield.
"Our main focus was to have both athletes qualify because they have been working through injuries," Villalobos said. "Now that they qualified it gives them the opportunity to put some more training in for the So Cal Championships."
Gonzalez finished 14th overall with a time of 19:49.99, while Theologidy, who said she hasn't run in more than three weeks due to injury, finished 20th crossing the line in 20:04.04.
"It felt good to run after so long," Theologidy said. "We were really focused on getting me through the race without it worsening. I was definitely holding back some. I can't wait to be healed and get back to being able to compete with the girls I have been all season. I think we're both happy."
Oxnard College's Briana Valencia was the overall winner in 18:18.72 followed by Moorpark College's Emma Player (18:26.67) and Glendale College's Angelica Salas (18:33.89). Glendale, which had four runners place in the top 11, won the overall team event, followed by College of the Canyons and Ventura College.
The Southern California Championships will be held on Nov. 3 at Central Park in Santa Clarita.