Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity boys and girls cross country programs didn’t disappoint while competing at the Western Athletic Conference preseason meet last Wednesday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
“The kids have been working hard,” Hawks head coach Veronica Moreno said. “To start this strong is a positive. It’s apparent the practice paid off. I think we have a decent shot at improving our records from last season.”
Central Valley posted a team score of 59 en route to a first-place finish during the boys race.
Andres Rojo took third with a time of 18 minutes, 34 seconds on the 3.1 course.
Rojo topped 74 other runners.
Hawk teammates Enrique Martinez (19:47), Sebastian Pena (19:55), Chase Bogart (19:59) and Otoniel Hernandez (21:05) placed 10th, 11th, 12th and 23rd, respectively.
“I’m very happy with the effort and determination,” Moreno said. “River Bluff is a tough course.”
Ceres High (63 points) tied for second place with Patterson.
“As a team, we’re trying to be league champs,” said Ceres High third-year runner Christian Linarez, who finished seventh overall (19:32). “That’s our main goal.”
Linarez placed 10th at the 2015 WAC Championships.
“Last year was a pretty disappointing season for me,” Christian said. “I didn’t put in much effort. I feel like I’m going to do better this year. I’m already PR-ing at all of our meets. It’s my senior year. I want to finish strong.”
Haaydn Martinez (19:44), Noah Holloway (20:00), Roman Acosta (20:07) and Aaron Alarcon (20:29) finished eighth, 13th, 16th and 19th, respectively.
Martinez, a first-year runner, surprised Timmermans.
Haaydn’s main sports are basketball and baseball.
“He just joined the team for conditioning for basketball,” Ceres High head coach Katie Timmermans said. “I don’t think he thought he’d be this good. He’s very athletic. He’s tough. He’s competitive.”
The Hawks and Bulldogs bested Los Banos (88), Livingston (93) and Pacheco (118) in team scoring.
Ceres High’s girls squad (61 points) placed third in the team standings.
Brisa Gonzalez (fifth place, 23:50) bested 60 other runners.
Bulldog teammates Destiny Suarez (23:51), Maria Diaz (25:17), Cristina Arreola (25:57) and Joanna Torrez (28:01) took sixth, 11th, 14th and 25th, respectively.
Central Valley (97) finished in fifth place.
Ramandeep Kaur (15th, 25:58) paced the Hawks.