Ceres High School’s varsity boys cross country program had just one representative at the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships this past weekend in Folsom.
“It was weird not having anyone from Ceres High beside me,” Bulldog sophomore Luis Yepez. “I’m so used to running with my teammates.”
A newcomer to the sport, Yepez placed 42nd overall on Saturday at Willow Hill Reservoir Community Park.
“I met my goal,” he said. “I finished the race. Hopefully, next year I can do a lot better.”
Yepez completed the 3-mile course in 18 minutes, 38 seconds.
“The race was a lot harder than expected. “There were multiple hills. There was sand. It got me tired more than usual.”Luis Yepez
“The race was a lot harder than expected,” he said. “There were multiple hills. There was sand. It got me tired more than usual.”
The race featured 74 participants.
“That’ the best competition I’ve faced,” he said. “It was pretty special just getting there. I’m pleased with how I did.”
The section championships were supposed to be held on Nov. 10 but were rescheduled due to poor air quality as a result of smoke from major California wildfires.
Stanislaus District athletes were also prohibited from training outside leading up to the meet.
“I wasn’t well-conditioned,” Luis said. “I had one practice. But it was inside the gym. It wasn’t a tough one.”
Yepez enjoyed a productive first season with the Bulldogs.
“I got extra energy seeing what my teammates did,” he said. “That made me want to try harder.”
Luis placed 41st (18:07) in a field of 183 at the Sac-Joaquin Division-III Sub-Section Championships on Nov. 3 at Frogtown.
He claimed a seventh-place medal (18:20) at the Western Athletic Conference finals on Oct. 24 at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
“I’m still surprised I got this far,” he said. “But I did put in a lot of work.”