Ronaldo Flores, Elijah Vas Dinis, Daniel Gonzalez, Eduardo Ortiz, Blake Barr, Karina Baez, Esmeralda Garcia, Stephanie Hernandez and Fabian Amparo earned the praise of Ceres High cross country coach Katie Thiele following their Nov. 16 outing at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Championships.
“They all did amazing,” she said. “They met their potential. It was a fun day.”
A newcomer to the sport, Flores claimed an eighth-place medal while competing in the Division-III sophomore boys race.
Flores posted a time of 11 minutes, 29 seconds on the 2.1-mile course at Willow Hill Reservoir in Folsom.
“He put himself in a great position,” Thiele said. “He’s going to get better.”
Flores, Vas Dinis (20th, 13:11), Gonzalez (28th, 13:45), Ortiz (42nd, 15:29) and Barr (46th, 16:13) helped lead the Bulldogs to a fifth-place finish in the team standings.
Ceres High (117 points) topped Beyer (119) and Rosemont (121).
“They were all thankful to be there. That was a big goal of theirs. They wanted to finish better than what they were seeded. They competed really hard.”Coach Katie Thiele
“They were all thankful to be there,” Thiele said. “That was a big goal of theirs. They wanted to finish better than what they were seeded. They competed really hard.”
Baez and Garcia both medaled in the Division-III frosh-soph girls division.
“They both called their parents after the race to tell them how they did,” Thiele said. “They were excited.”
Baez placed second with a time of 15:06 on the 2-mile course.
“She was passing runners throughout the whole race,” Thiele said. “She worked really hard. That was great to see.”
Garcia finished in seventh (15:41).
“I’m proud of her and how far she’s come since the beginning of the season,” Thiele said. “It’s her first season running. I didn’t know what to expect. Each race, she started moving closer to the front. It was exciting and surprising to see her get better.”
Hernandez, a frosh-soph girls runner, took 18th (16:48).
Senior Fabian Amparo placed 49th (19:05) during the 3-mile Division-III varsity boys race.
“It’s a tough course,” Thiele said. “Some people say it’s harder than Frogtown. Fabian showed grit. He did so well. I know he gave it his all.”
Thiele never had more than one athlete medal at the section meet prior to this season.
“This is the best we’ve done,” said Thiele, fifth-year leader of the Bulldogs. “Hopefully, we have more in the next couple of years.”