CERRITOS, Calif. – Giovanni Barajas hit a personal record with a time of 19:51 to place first for all community college runners at the Cerritos Falcon Invitational on Friday morning.
Barajas joins an elite group of runners in Santa Ana College history to run four miles in under 20 minutes.
"I'm extremely proud of Gio. It has been more than 10 years since we have had a guy run under 20 minutes," said SAC Head Coach Miriam Mitzel. "He's one of the best I've seen in my time at SAC and he has a great future ahead of him."
The sophomore from Garden Grove High has placed in the top three in every race he's been in during the 2019 season and looks like the favorite to win the Orange Empire Conference championship and will compete for a state title.
"The goal for Gio is to be top three in the state, but I do think he has a chance to win it all."
Barajas led the pack for SAC men's team that placed fourth out of ten teams on Friday.
Corben Pagnotta had the best race of his freshman season with a 10th place finish at 20:43.5 while Francisco Avila (46th / 23:02.0), Eder Diaz (57th / 23:44.8), Andres Ramirez (65th / 24:02.0) rounded out the SAC team.
Santa Ana had another individual standout as Maria Marroquin also set a personal record on her way to a third place finish with a time of 18:53.5 on the women's side.
Marroquin was surrounded by a pack of Saddleback runners but found a way to hold her ground, taking her second consecutive third place finish.
The Don women took fourth as a team with 90 points, coming in just four points before College of the Desert who had 86 points.
Santa Ana cross country will compete again next week when they host their annual Brubaker Invitational on Friday, October 11th at Irvine Regional Park. The first race is set to begin at 9:00 a.m.