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Cross country teams striving for excellence in 2011
Bryce Ford and Cecilia Carretero helped lead Ceres High School's frosh-soph girls cross country team to the Valley Oak League crown and perfect 16-0 record during the regular season in 2009.

The juniors will reunite at the varsity level this year.

"It gives us a solid 1-2 punch," Bulldogs head coach Glenn Driskell said.

Cecilia, Ceres High's team captain, finished in second place while competing at the Western Athletic Conference varsity championships in 2010. She qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet in track and field (800 meters) last May.

Bryce did not compete. She averaged 18.0 points and 9.7 rebounds while being named the Western Athletic Conference MVP in varsity girls basketball last winner. Ford won the VOL frosh-soph title in cross country her freshman year.

"Cecilia is going to have a great year," Driskell said. "Bryce will help our team a lot. We could have two of the top three runners in league."

Viviana Ramirez (Sr.), Dia Borden (Jr.), Maria Gaitan (Sr.), Jappreet Grewal (Sr.), Arcelia Hermosillo (Sr.), Nour Lopez (Sr.), Lourdes Razo (Sr.), Graciela Chipres (Jr.), Julia Conchas (Jr.), Natalie Demag (Jr.), Karen De La Torre (So.), Laura Espinoza (So.), Marissa Garza (So.), Katya Hernandez (So.), Abigail Schmeidt (So.), Lizette Carretero (Fr.), Toni Garcia (Fr.), Jocelyn Garcia (Fr.), Michelle Jaramillo (Fr.), Angelica Slater (Fr.) and Jeanette Torrez (Fr.) are also members of Ceres High's girls team this season.

Ceres High's boys program returns just one varsity runner from a season ago in sophomore Judas Chavarin. Judas has drawn comparisons to former Bulldog star and two-time CIF State Meet participant Alejandro Garcia (class of 2010). Chavarin took fourth at the 2010 WAC Championships. He also won the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section Division III freshman boys title.

"Judas has good speed," Driskell said. "He doesn't get tired. He has the potential to be the best distance runner we ever had. I've been here for 28 years."

Bret Gonzalez (Jr.), Isaiah Henry (Jr.), Fernando Madrigal (Jr.), Joshua Martinez (Jr.), Jordan Mey (So.), Rafeal Hurenda Romero (So.), Danny Arias (Fr.) and Lorenzo Trinidad (Fr.) will also contribute.

Gonzalez, a transfer from SoCal, will be the Bulldogs' No. 2 runner.

Ceres High's girls and boys placed third and fifth, respectively, at the league finals last year.

Central Valley's girls lost top runner Adriana Mendez to graduation.

The Hawks welcome back Andrea Rodriguez (Jr.), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Sr.), Karla Rodriguez (So.) and Karina Miranda (So.).

Newcomer Viviana Moreno (Sr.) ran track last year.

Central Valley finished fifth at the WAC championships a season ago.

"We have a pretty strong group of girls," head coach Mike Reynolds said. "We have a lot of depth but not a No. 1 standout."

Central Valley's boys return several of their top runners.

Cruz Mendez (Sr.), Raul Castro (Jr.), Nick Gonzalez (Jr.) and Francisco Gradilla (So.) took 13th, 14th, 25th and 32nd, respectively, while leading the Hawks to a third-place finish at the WAC finals last year.

Newcomers Edward Martinez (Sr.) and Matt Menor (Sr.) will also contribute.

Reynolds recruited Martinez and Menor from track and field.

"Hopefully, we'll be competitive," Mike said.

Ceres High scrimmaged against Central Valley and Oakdale on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.

The WAC Pre-Season Meet was staged by Los Banos at San Luis Reservoir-Basalt Hill.

The conference dual-meet season got underway on Sept. 14.

Ceres High competed against Los Banos.

Central Valley played host to Patterson.

"Everyone's working hard," Driskell said.