It’s been a standout season for freshman runner Meagan Silves, who set the pace and held on to win the individual title at the Orange Empire Conference Cross Country Championships hosted by Riverside College on Friday.
With a pair of strong kicks, Silves outlasted the field and crossed the finish line first with a time of 19 minutes, 7.4 seconds, edging runner-up Holly Morales of Saddleback College by seven seconds.
“Megan had a race earlier in the year where she went out front, but was caught at the very end, so this time, when she went out in front and some of the runners began to catch up, she turned on another gear and kept her lead the rest of the way,” cross country head coach Marco Ochoa said. “She’s done a great job for us this year and I’m very happy to see her earn this.”
Silves was one of three OCC runners who earned All-Orange Empire Conference honors by finishing in the top 14. The other two Pirate runners included sophomore Andrea Anaya, who finished sixth with a time of 19:39.3 and Jackie Ojeda, who placed 14th with a time of 20:19.6.
As a team, the Pirates finished third at the OEC Finals with a team score of 69 points, trailing only champion Saddleback (29 points) and runner-up Riverside (44 points).
Other top times for the Pirates included Valeria Rodriguez (21.31), Sarahi Terrones (21:58.7), Angelie Jaimes (23:03.0), Stephanie Valentin (25:03.4) and Yuridia Perez (26:01.5).
Up next for the Pirates will be a trek to Don Knabe Regional Park in Cerritos for the 2018 Southern California Regional Championships, which take place on Friday at 9 a.m.