The 1980 women’s cross-country team did not seek perfection or set records during the season. They had a new coach in Scott Schweitzer, several new runners and the burden of trying to repeat as back-to-back state champs after winning the title in 1979.
Any pressure they felt was quickly diminished by the easy-going Schweitzer. He not only ran with his athletes, but used his sense of humor to keep them under the radar and focused for the long haul of a demanding season.
The photos and memories of that season show a team running very light on their feet with smiles on their faces. They happily mugged for the camera whenever one was pointed at them and achieved their goal of winning a championship without losing their enthusiasm for running. Many of these photos are on display tonight as they are inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
One of the most interesting stories about that team was the story about the team itself, thanks to Shari Ewing. Shari was a member of the 1979 state championship team and was also a track standout for the Vaqueros. She had the added responsibility of reporting on cross-country as a sports editor for the student newspaper, “El Vaquero”. Ewing was the top finisher in the 1980 state meet with a fifth place finish to lead the pack of five Glendale runners that finished in the top 13 to win the small schools title.
Next in order of finish for Glendale were Jackie Elson, Delight Enciso, Allison Bettencourt and DeDe Woodruff. They ran tight as a pack as they had all season, including one race when they all finished in a tie for first place. They were only separated by 27 seconds in the state meet and beat second place Moorpark by almost 60 points.
History will show that Glendale’s 1980 state championship was the first time in community college history that a school won back-to-back titles. Equally impressive is the fact that the women’s team was undefeated that season. They shared another milestone with the men’s team by being the first school to win state championships in the same season.
In her response back to the hall of fame committee after being informed about their induction, Ewing added one more quote to the legacy of that great season. “Running for and attending Glendale College was an incredibly positive experience. From Scott Schweitzer’s excellent coaching to teammates who were hardworking, passionate and fun to be with, the G.C. experience is one I look back on with much fondness.’’
Just like everyone else who ran on that team.