Over 25 years ago in 1977 when women’s sports at the junior college level were still seeking an identity, a first-year coach and six talented women bonded to become the best team in the state and set a standard that has never been duplicated at Glendale College.
In 10 meets that year including the Western State Conference finals, the Southern California and state championships, the Vaqueros never lost a race and ran their way into the record books as the first and only women’s team in Glendale College history to win a state championship.
For Head Coach Dianne Spangler and those six runners, Tina Moran, Laurel Spector, Emily Whitney, Jan Parker, Marcie Parker and Kathy Rouse, the season was both remarkable in what they accomplished and unforgettable in how they accomplished it.
Heading into the fall season that year, Spangler was preparing to coach the women’s volleyball team at Glendale like she had since 1976 and would until 1990. When athletic director Virginia Manker mentioned that the head coaching position for women’s cross country was open, Spangler interviewed for it and got it and that quickly she found herself coaching two fall sports at the same time in the same year.
Whatever difficulties Spangler had balancing the needs for two sport teams that fall, those were quickly forgotten because of the quality of people she was working with and the amazing success that the cross country team had from start to finish that season.
The season started out with invitational wins at Palomar and Moorpark and a dual meet win against Moorpark and College of the Canyons where the Glendale runners dominated the competition with five runners combining for 21 points. The Vaqueros ran even better the next week in a meet against Trade Tech, Oxnard and Compton by winning places one through five for 15 points.
After closing out the dual meet season with wins at the Hancock Invitational and conference meet with Santa Barbara and Hancock, the Vaqueros narrowly won the WSC title by one point over Hancock with Tina Moran winning the race and the WSC individual title for women.
The Vaqueros closed out the 1977 season by winning the Southern California title at Pierce College with five runners placing among the top 12, and then the next week at Sierra College in Rocklin, CA., they won the state championship by 12 points over second-place Citrus College with five Glendale runners place among the top 26 in the state.