Mesa Cross Country: A Retrospective

The Mesa women’s cross country team crowned 2022 PCAC champions at Norco College on Oct. 28

Aaron Luna, Sports Editor

The cross country season for Mesa College came to an end at the CCCAA 2022 State Championships in Fresno on Friday, Nov.19. Mesa came up .2 seconds short in the men’s four-mile team race, taking home the silver behind Mt San Antonio College. David Millian, a sophomore from Mira Mesa, was the best finisher for the men’s individual four-mile run meanwhile, finishing fourth with a time of 20 minutes 10 seconds. The women’s team fared similarly, coming in second behind Mt. San Antonio College by three seconds in the team 3.1 mile race. The best from the women’s individual race was Mohussin Abakar, a sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, who finished fifth with a time of 18 minutes, 31 seconds.

The year started off very well for Mesa. At the Sonoma State Cross Country Invite in Fresno, on Sept. 3, Mesa triumphed by placing third in the women’s 5K- with an average mile time of 20:16 and an overall time of 1:41:20- and first in the men’s four-mile, with an average mile time of 20:59 and an overall time of 1:44:59. David Millian was the best runner of the four-mile event, placing third overall with an average mile time of 5:12, and an overall of 20:51.

Their next meet on Sept. 30, was more spread out. The men’s team sent their 8K runners up north, with the women’s 6K runners, to the Michael Johnson Classic at the Ash Creek Preserve in Monmouth, Oregon. The remaining runners, meanwhile, stayed behind in San Diego for the SD City Coach Downey Classic at Morley Field for the Men’s four-mile race. 

The Olympians did better in the Beaver state than expected. The Men’s 8K finished in second with an average mile time of 25:05, and a total time of 2:05:27. Juan Rosales finished first with an average mile time of 4:57.3 and an overall time of 24:37.8. The women’s 6K however finished fourth with an overall total and average mile time of 1:58:19 and 23:39 respectively. The team also did great at Morley Field as well, with a finish of first overall and having six runners finish in the top ten. Jayden Smith was the best of the team this time, finishing first with an average time of 05:16.9 and a total time of 21:07.6.

The next meet at NTC Liberty Station, on Oct. 7, was the same. At the Manny Baustista XC Invitational, Mesa College would place within the top five in both men and women categories, with some key runners having a coming out party. Chief among them were Juan Rosales and Jyden Schmid for the men’s team, and Mohussin Abakar and Kyana Cook for the women’s team. Both Abakar and Rosales are sophomores at Mesa, with Abakar joining the team from central Omaha, and Rosales from Murrieta. Cook and Schmid are both freshmen at Mesa, with Cook hailing from Murrieta and Schmid from Mira Mesa. All four finished in the top 20 for their respective runs, with Rosales and Schmid finishing in the top ten.

In a dynastic run, San Diego Mesa’s men’s cross country team captured their third straight PCAC conference title. At Norco College in Norco, California, the Olympians finished first in their group, with their only competition being Cuyamaca College. While other colleges elected to send a handful of runners to the event, the Mesa squad really showed up. In the four-mile race, all but one of the top ten finishers came from Mesa College, including all of the top five. Juan Rosales came in first, once again, showing the same power he had in Monmouth with a total time of 21:04 and an average mile of 05:16. The women’s team was just as successful. The team finished first in the 5K, ahead of Cuyamaca, Southwestern and CIty College. Mohussin Abakar took home first with a total time of 18:54.5, and an average mile of 6:05.1.

On Nov. 4, at the Southern California Regional Championships at Kern County Soccer Complex in Bakersfield, Mesa placed first and second in men’s and women’s cross country respectively. The women’s squad finished a minute and 19 seconds behind Mt. San Antonio College in 5K total time, and an 18 second difference in average mile time. Abakar and Cook finished in the top ten, with Abakar finishing in the top five with a total time of 18:18.5 and an average mile time of 05:53.5. The men’s squad finished ahead of Mt. San Antonio College by 56 seconds in 4-mile total time and 11 seconds in average mile time. Juan Rosales was the best finish for Mesa, taking the silver with a total time of 19:50.9 and an average mile time of 04:57.8.

Overall, Mesa’s cross country team was successful this year. With strong finishes by Rosales and Abakar towards the end of the season, the Olympians were able to pull ahead in the conference championships, and were able to give it their all against non-PCAC teams.