Archive for the ‘Women’s Cross Country’ Category

Cross-country Coach Robert Claessen’s 19-year career longer than some team members’ lifespan

By Jessyka Holguin

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Coach Robert Claessen is easily recognized on campus. He often can be seen riding his bike or running around campus with a pack of young women! The women’s cross country mentor has coached track for 19 years– as long as some team members have been alive!

He said has been interested in running since he was a child and was naturally drawn to the running trails around Lake Murray. Injuries prevented him from competing in cross country as a college student here at Grossmont. However, he later started coaching cross country at Humboldt State College.  The coach said some of his favorite experiences were running through the fog and forests up there in northern California.

He also has run in different countries and says, if he could. he would love to travel all over the world.

The coach said ths season his main goal is for everyone on Grossmont’s team to be healthy and to have fun with the work outs. He said that one of the great things about cross country is that it transfers into everyone’s personal life. It helps people deal with challenges and makes them stronger for it, he said.

This year’s team has a positive drive and a desire to help one another out, Claessen said.  He added this is one of the reasons he predicts that the team will do really well in the conference this year. Cross Country has much to be proud of at Grossmont , with teams in 7 out of 8 years making it to the Southern California Conference. If the team does well in this conference it will get the opportunity to run in the state championships.

What sets Grossmont’s team apart from other competitors is that it has great access to mountains and trails within a few miles of the campus, Claessen said.  For example, Cowles Mountain and Mission Trails Regional Park are weekly work out sites for the team. These work outs get the team ready forcompetitions elsewhere.

The coach noted that the season is still young and there still are openings on the Women’s Cross Country Team.  He said Cross Country is a sport that requires people to work out all year in order to compete. Claussen said one of the attractions of Grossmont’s Cross Country Team is that everyone becomes like a family. This not only is a benefit for the individual members; it is a key to the team achieving its goals, he said.

Holguin is a student in Media Comm 132.  She may be contacted at

Fall Sports begin at Grossmont

By Vince Ruffino

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Put away the surfboards and sunscreen, its time to get focused on school, but  not without something to look forward too, Fall Sports!

For many Grossmont College students, the beginning of the Fall Semester marks  not only the end of summer and the beginning of the academic year, but also the  beginning of their respected sports season. But a novice sports fanatic might question, ‘What are the Fall Sports?’ Here’s a look at four Fall Sports at Grossmont Community College.

Football: Grossmont’s team comes off a modest season in 2010 finishing 6-4  with a post season loss to East Conference Runner Up Santa Ana College Dons in the Beach Bowl, 52-43. This year, Coach Mike Jordan looks to lead his Griffins  in the season opener on the road against rival San Diego Mesa College on Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 6p.m.

Women’s Soccer: New Head Coach Dave Ridenour and The Lady Griffins dropped the season opener, 1-0, at home against Golden West. They look to rebound Friday September 2, 2011, on their home pitch against El Camino at  1pm.
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Grossmont teams distinguish themselves in various sports

GROSSMONT COLLEGE– Jim Spillers, the associate dean and athletic director,  has some good reasons to smile.

Two Grossmont teams — Women’s Volleyball and Women’s Water Polo–have won championships in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Cross country runner, Janine Ramos, meanwhile, has advanced to the cross country state championships.  The Men’s Volleyball team, meanwhile, has advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.

As reported here previously, the Griffin Football team will play in the Beach Bowl this Saturday against Santa Ana College in Santa Ana.

Preceding provided by the Grossmont Athletics Department

Three personal records propel women’s cross country team to Southern California regionals

OCEANSIDE, California (Press Release)–Grossmont College’s women’s cross country runners did what they had to do Oct. 28 to qualify the team for the Southern California Regionals. This was the sixth season out of the last seven for Grossmont’s cross-country team to qualify for the Southern California Regional Championships.

Grossmont’s effort was led by Janine Ramos with a personal record (PR) of 21:05 on the tough 5-kilometer course at Guajome Park. She finished in 10th place for All-Pacific Coast  Conferencehonors! Just missing All-PCC by a few places was the team’s captain, Annalee Mendoza, in 18th place,  also setting a personal record of 22:40. Next was the Griffins 3rd runner Ashley Reubens in 35th at 24:53 –another PR! Reubens has been hampered by injuries all season and her effort was the definitive force behind the team’s success in this race.

Behind her were Gabriela Rivas in 36th at 25:12, Bella Long in 54th at 28:50 and Nicole Waugh in 56th at 28:51, Amanda Kazemi 59th 29:46 and Nayeli Bernate 63rd at 32:17. Grossmont’s top three runners saved the day with big PRs to get the team into the next Championship race (on Saturday at Mission Bay).

Nicole Waugh is usually the third runner, but she was very sick and pushed herself to the limit to compete for the team and get them into Regionals. The team has been battling through typical injuries and illness all season, but it looks like most of its members are ready for a big race to qualify as a team for the State Championships. It will take a total team effort, with each athlete probably needing to PR to pull it off, but Coach Robert Claesson predicts they are ready for the challenge.

Preceding provided by the Grossmont College Cross-Country Team

Tough Mt. SAC course prepares Grossmont for Oct. 28 cross-country championships

By Brennan Wasan

Brennan Wasan

MOUNT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE–The Grossmont Women’s Cross Country team did exceptionally well, on what is arguably the toughest course in California at the Mt. Sac Invitational on Friday, Oct. 15, their coach Robert Claesson said.

Grossmont’s top two finishers set both seasonal and personal records for themselves. Janine Ramos finished in 20 minutes and 26 seconds,  placing 45th in the field of 169 racers.  Anna Lee Mendoza finished in 22 minutes and 30 seconds
placing in 96th place.

Due to its multiple hills and slopes, Mt. Sac’s three-mile course is “one of the most revered and famous courses in the world” according to the Walnut, Calif., college’s website–an assessment with which Claesson agrees.

Overall as a  team, the Griffins finished in 18th place and  third in the conference.  Claesson said his team benefitted from the experience to such extent that they are far more than ready to compete in the conference championship
that will take place Oct. 28..

Other Grossmont competitors on Friday included Nicole Waught, Gabby Rivas, and Nayeli Bernate.

Wasan is a student in Media Comm 132

Grossmont through Stephen Harvey’s lens

Stephen Harvey

GROSSMONT COLLEGE, Sept. 9 — Professional photographer Stephen Harvey on a daily basis photographs events and people at Grossmont College.  His work winds up on college brochures, on posters, attached to news releases, in annual reports and in a variety of publications.  And now, Harvey has agreed to share his work with the GC Summit.  From time to time, we will present a collection of his photographs which, in the aggregate, paint a campus portrait.

We start with a faculty convocation that was held in the gym on August 16, one week before the start of classes.  Everyone was asked to wear soft-sole shoes in order not to scratch the floor. 

Grossmont College President Sunny Cooke and a number of  faculty members dressed up their sneakers to show their school spirit:

Convocation shoes

Faculty and staff at Aug. 16 convocation

Sunny Cooke, in soft-soled shoes, addresses convocation

A week later, on August 23, the crowds on campus for the first day of classes were unbelievably large, as Harvey’s photo attests.  News crews came out to campus to interview President Cooke about the fact that budget cuts had forced the cancellation of numerous classes, even though overall enrollment had increased.

First day of classes, August 23, at Grossmont College

Channel 5 news crew interviews President Cooke on first day of classes

At the end of the first week, if things weren’t hot enough, a small brush fire broke out about 300 yards north of the campus.  It was put out with the help of mutual aid fire trucks from jurisdictions throughout the east county and helicopters and airplanes that sprayed water and retardant on the 10-acre blaze.

Firefighting chopper over campus, Aug. 27

There’s nothing quite like Grossmont College football to get the blood pumping, and Harvey was at the Sept. 2 practice recording the excitement as the Griffins readied for San Diego Mesa College (whom they would defeat 36-7 in the season opener.)

Sept 2 football practice

Sept. 2 football practice

Sept. 2 football practice

On Friday, Sept. 3, Harvey accompanied the International Club on a field trip to Mission Beach for a barbecue.

International Club at Mission Beach for a barbecue, Sept. 3

Fun at the barbecue

International Club students at Mission Beach

On Sept. 8, Harvey covered the Grossmont Women’s Cross-Country team from an unusual angle:

Women's Cross Country team, Sept. 8

The GC Summit thanks photographer Stephen Harvey for sharing his work with our readers. We look forward to future installments of this column.