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CV, CHS compete at VOL cluster meet
The members of Ceres High's and Central Valley's cross country programs rode on the same bus when traveling to Woodward Reservoir on Wednesday to compete in the Valley Oak League's second cluster meet.

During the drive back back from Oakdale, Bulldog and Hawks runners engaged in playful trash talking.

Ceres High's Alejandro Garcia won the varsity boys race, outdistancing Central Valley's top placer (Oscar Tovar, 11th) by 75 seconds. The Hawks edged out the Bulldogs, 26-28, in the team scoring.

"We're competitive, but we still have good sportsmanship," Alejandro said. "I'm looking forward to the VOL championships. I think we'll be able to beat them by a few points."

Central Valley's lineup consisted of Tovar, Francisco Gonzalez (23rd, 18:00), Raul Castro (32nd, 19:07), Eric Sosa (38th, 19:26), Will Berryhill (42nd, 19:37), Juan Cuevas (43rd, 19:38) and Xavier Bridges (47th, 20:16).

Garcia, Mathew Mey (21st, 17:53), Rajinder Singh (37th, 19:22), Jose Perez (44th, 19:39), Michael Johnson (50th, 21:26) and Rosalio Heras (51st, 22:39) suited up for Ceres High. Mario Hernandez, the Bulldogs' No. 5 runner, did not compete for an undisclosed reason.

"I'm happy seeing my teammates try," Garcia said. "They're not placing high but they're giving it their best."

Garcia has enjoyed a lot of individual success this year. His resume includes three first-place finishes and two seconds.

Alejandro completed Woodward Reservoir's 3.1-mile hilly course in 15 minutes, 39 seconds.

"It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be," he said.

Garcia topped 51 other runners, including top rival John Bowers of Sierra (2nd, 15:52). Alejandro saved his energy until the latter portion of the race.

"Once we got to the last mile, I picked up the pace and left the pack," he said.

Central Valley's Antonio Cordova finished third (20:04) in the JV boys race. Hawk teammate Michael Luzinski also excelled (5th, 20:22).

Girls Results

Central Valley High School's varsity girls cross country team posted victories over Ceres High, Manteca and Weston Ranch during the Valley Oak League's second cluster meet on Wednesday in Oakdale.

Adrianna Mendez (17th, 22:27), Alexiss Cervera (27th, 23:50), Andrea Rodriguez (28th, 24:35), Norma Cortez (29th, 25:11) and Stephanie Muci (35th, 28:38) led the Hawks, who raced on Woodward Reservoir's 3.1-mile hilly course.

Ceres High's varsity girls didn't factor into the team scoring due to a lack of depth. The Bulldogs had just four competitors in Ann Carretero (34th, 26:33), Vanessa Cuevas (36th, 28:48), Susana Ramirez (41st, 33:26) and Victoria Verduzco (42nd, 34:56).

Ceres High remained perfect in the VOL frosh-soph girls standings after sweeping Central Valley, Oakdale, Sonora, Manteca, Sierra, East Union and Weston Ranch.

Bryce Ford (1st, 13:41), Cecilia Carretero (2nd, 13:51), Ashley Vath (11th, 17:16), Lucero Sigarroa (13th, 17:24) and Nour Lopez (15th, 18:04) paced the Bulldogs.