Ceres High School’s varsity cross country program split with Los Banos on Wednesday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
Ceres High’s girls team opened the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet season with a 15-50 win over the Tigers.
Los Banos couldn’t post a team score because they only had four runners.
“It takes five girls to score,” Ceres High head coach Glenn Driskell said.
The Bulldogs competed without 2013 Western Athletic Conference First Team selection Lisette Carretero, who was sidelined with an injury.
“If it was Livingston, she’d be running today,” Driskell said. “Without her, we’d have no chance.”
Lacey Oliveira finished first overall while making her varsity debut with Ceres High. The junior completed the three-mile course in a personal-best 25 minutes, 55 seconds.
Bulldog teammates Jennifer Cisneros (26:15), Karina Torrez (27:25), Cristina Arreola (28:02) and Haleigh Leazer (28:48) placed second, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
Los Banos’ Yvette Fregoso (26:25), Richelle Delapaz (26:39), Selina Catalan (31:56) and Ifunanya Okekge (33:20) took third, fourth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
“I didn’t expect it,” Oliveira said while talking about her first-place showing. “It’s pretty crazy. We ran hard for Lisette.”
Oliveira pulled away at the midway point of the race.
“I ran the hill hard and it created some distance,” Oliveira said. “I wasn’t going to let them win. My favorite part of the race was the end. You sprint and you’re done.”
Ceres High’s boys team dropped its WAC dual-meet opener, 21-33, to Los Banos last week.
Sophomore Christian Linarez was the Bulldogs’ top finisher.
Linarez placed second as he completed the three-mile course in a personal-best 20 minutes, 40 seconds.
Bulldog teammates Manuel Baez (sixth place, 21:43), Efren Ramirez (seventh, 21:44), Angel Macias (ninth, 21:52) and Nick Burt (10th, 22:01) also contributed.
Steve Georgiou (first, 20:06), Cristian Garcia (third, 20:44), Michael Farrell (fourth, 20:47), Jensen Chase (fifth, 21:26) and Ben Chapman (eighth, 21:51) led Los Banos.
“I thought it would be a little closer,” Driskell said. “Christian did a great job. I was hoping a couple of other guys would have stepped up.”
Added Linarez: “This course is challenging. I could have saved my energy more for the second hill. Now, I know. If I train harder, I can beat the Los Banos kid.”