Instebo finishes second, women take fourth at SBCC Invitational

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Women’s runners take off at the Santa Barbara City College Invitational Cross Country Race on Friday, Oct. 12, Leadbetter Beach.

Madison Paglia, Staff Writer

Swedish runner Cecilia Instebo placed second out of 107 in the women’s 5k, leading the Vaqueros to a 4th place overall finish in the Santa Barbara City College Invitational Friday afternoon at Shoreline Park.

260 runners showed up to compete on a unique course that includes a 1,000-meter stretch of sand running. Instebo finished with a time of 20:26 and freshman Ian Roberts led the men, crossing the finish line in 22:44 for the men’s 4-mile run. The men finished 7th overall.

“They do not run on the sand in any other course, so it makes our course pretty unique and gives the runners a challenge,” said cross-country coach Scott Fickerson.

Instebo who usually runs the 5k in an average of 19:49 ran the invitational 30 seconds slower than that time while Grace Graham-Zamudi from Glendale College finished first at 19:54.

This is Instebo’s third consecutive second-place finish in a row this season.

“I really just wanted to do better than I did last year,” Instebo explained. “ I ran 20:30 last year and wanted to beat that time and run a good race. But the sand portion is tough, it wasn’t as tough for me this year but it’s definitely a challenge because if you run it too fast you die.”

Omar Padilla-Lopez finished second to Roberts in the men’s race at 22:49. The second Vaquero across the line for the women’s team was Nicole Bartlett with a time of 22:15.

“The sand part of the course was unforgiving and its something we have to train a little more for,” Roberts said

Once the runners are past the sand portion, the course features a hill, a lot of grass and short stretches of pavement.

Instebo and Graham-Zamudi’s time at this meet sets up a friendly rivalry when it comes time for State Championships.

Fickerson predicted that Graham-Zamudi will win state, however Instebo will give her a run for her money at the WSC Championships on Tuesday Oct. 23, at Costa Mesa.