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CHS harriers split with Knights
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Karrah Brown, Heather Jones, Katie Lutes, Mayra Abreo and Jennifer Perez helped lead the Ceres High varsity girls cross country team to a 23-39 victory over Downey on Wednesday at Legion Park.

“It was a nice win,” said Ceres coach Glenn Driskell.

The Bulldogs improved to 2-2 in the Modesto Metro Conference. The Knights fell to 0-4 in the league standings.

Brown placed first in a field of 15. The senior completed the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 14 seconds.

“Karrah ran a great race,” Driskell said. “That's her second-best time ever.”

Jones, Lutes, Abreo and Perez placed second in 22:25, fifth in 24:32, seventh in 24:50 and eighth in 24:53, respectively.

Mary Contreras, Ali Matthews, Michelle Valasces, Kelsey Ladd and Melissa Malone scored for the Knights. Contreras, Matthews, Valasces, Ladd and Malone placed third in 24:27, fourth in 24:28, sixth in 24:47, 11th in 25:57 and 15th in 29:07, respectively.

Perez leads varsity boys

Benny Perez crossed the finish line first. But it wasn't enough as the Ceres High varsity boys cross country team fell 24-31 to undefeated Downey on Wednesday at Legion Park.

“It was a very close meet,” Driskell said. “If Darryl (Lopez) was healthy today, we probably would have won by one.”

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 0-4 in the MMC.

The Knights improved to 4-0 in league.

The top five runners from each team scored.

Downey's Chris Umbagh, Julian Calagos, Erik Alvarez, Kyle Besera and Joel Campos placed second in 18:10, third in 18:59, fifth in 19:33, sixth in 19:39 and eighth in 19:53, respectively, on the 3.1-mile course.

Perez, John Beattie, Ramsey Magana, Chad Hurt and Henry Shamoeil placed first in 17:51, fourth in 19:22, seventh in 19:39, ninth in 19:55 and 10th in 19:55, respectively, for the Bulldogs.

Lopez, Ceres' No. 2 runner, placed 14th in 20:52. He was slowed by a right leg injury.

“Benny could have gone faster if he had competition,” Driskell said.

Perez took first despite missing two days of practice. He's been battling the flu for several weeks.

“I asked my doctor if it (running) would harm me and she said no,” Perez said.

“I was slowed by 30 seconds. There was a big difference.”

Asked what it would take to keep him out of the lineup, Perez said: “Probably a broken bone.” - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier