By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Garcia making a name for himself in track and field at MJC
Former Bulldog Alejandro Garcia continues to excel in track and field.

The Modesto Junior College sophomore was a repeat winner in the 10,000 meters at the Northern California Community College Championships on May 4 at the College of San Mateo.

"I'm glad I was able to defend my title," said Garcia, a 2010 Ceres High graduate. "I doubted myself a little bit going into the race because my legs were tired, I didn't have my normal speed and there was better competition."

Alejandro, the No. 3 seed for the 25-lap race, was slowed by a left calf injury earlier this season.

"It messed up my form for two weeks," he said.

Determined to defend his 10,000-meter crown, Alejandro devised a perfect game plan.

Trailing, Garcia made his move at the end.

He passed Hartnell's Kevin Roa (second, 32:37.57), Diablo Valley's Guillaume Hansel (third, 32:44.87), Sequoias' Xavier Uranga (fourth, 32:48.06), American River's Wyatt Landrum (fifth, 33:08.90) and Germay Tesfai (sixth, 33:20.37).

Tesfai and Uranga were seeded ahead of Alejandro.

Garcia bested Hansel and Landrum at the Big 8 Championships.

"If you're leading the pack, you're doing the thinking," said Alejandro, who posted a time of 32:35.65 and finished ahead of 16 other competitors. "I had to run a smart race and wait until the last lap to take off. I knew I had it after the top two guys died out. If he (Roa) wanted it, he would have to kill himself to pass me. I was completely relieved after I crossed the finish line."

Garcia placed third in the 5,000 meters (15:31.78).

Alejandro tapered his training leading up to NorCals to prevent re-injuring his calf.

He logged between 80-100 miles per week when healthy.

"You need to have a loose screw to run that much," Garcia joked. "Me and my teammates are crazy."

Alejandro had a successful debut in the 10,000 meters at the 2011 Big 8 Meet. He's competed in the event a total of five times. Garcia's won four titles.

"The first half of the race is easy because the pace is slower," he said. "If you don't stay focused and relaxed, your body will cramp up and you'll have to drop back. The thing I avoid is looking at the number of laps left. It will get to you mentally."

Garcia made a name for himself during his freshman year at Modesto Junior College.

He swept both the 10,000 and 5,000 at NorCals in track and field. Alejandro placed fifth in the 10,000 and eighth in the 5,000 at the California State Championships.

Garcia captured a seventh-place medal at the California Community College Athletic Association Cross Country State Championships. He bested 210 other competitors. Alejandro won NorCal and Big 8 Conference titles as well.

Garcia had a record-breaking career at Ceres High. He became the cross country program's first two-time, state-meet qualifier. Alejandro placed 34th at the CIF championships. He also turned in improved performances at the section (second place), divisional (third) and conference (first) finals. He won the Stanislaus County Invitational title two years in a row.

Garcia took seventh in the 3,200 meters while making his first-ever appearance at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track & Field Championships as a senior. He finished the race in 9:29.90, nearly 11 seconds faster than his old school record. Alejandro also won the Division III title.

"There's no shortcuts to get to the top," he said.

Garcia plans to continue his running career at a four-year school, possibly Chico State.

When asked about his future career, Alejandro talked about becoming an athletic trainer and coach.

"I want to do something I love," he said.

Adriana Mendez, a 2011 Central Valley graduate and Modesto JC freshman, took second in the 5,000 (19:03.67) and third in the 1,500 (4:53.36) at NorCals.

Former Hawk Jasveen Brar finished third in the 400 hurdles (1:06.11) and ran a leg on the Pirates' fifth-place 4x400 relay team (3:58.93).