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Bulldogs sweep Panthers in cross country
Roman Acosta helped Ceres Highs varsity boys cross country team secure its first Western Athletic Conference dual-meet victory of the season this past week. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity cross country program swept Pacheco this past week.

Ceres High's boys team improved to 1-3 in the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet standings after edging out the Panthers 25-31 on Wednesday in Los Banos.

The previous-winless Bulldogs lost to Livingston, Patterson and Los Banos by a combined eight points.

"The scores have been so close," Ceres High head coach Katie Timmermans said. "To finally be able to win, it boosts their confidence. We're all really excited."

A newcomer to the sport, Bulldog Haadyn Martinez placed second with a time of 19 minutes, 7 seconds on the 3-mile course against the Panthers.

Ceres High teammates Christian Linarez (19:09), Noah Holloway (19:24), Roman Acosta (19:57) and Josh Madariaga (20:04) finished third, fifth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

"They know how to add the numbers in their heads," Timmermans said. "They knew what they needed to do."

Josh missed the first three weeks of the season due to breathing issues.

He placed 22nd during his debut with the Bulldogs the previous week.

"In order for us to win today, I told him (Madariaga) he needed to be behind our fourth runner (Acosta)," Timmermans said. "That was the difference. I knew he was going to do well. He's been working hard. I'm proud of him."

The Panthers' top five runners took first (18:37), fourth (19:19), sixth (19:37), ninth (20:09) and 11th (20:52).

Bulldogs 25, Panthers 39
Ceres High's girls team evened its WAC dual-record at 2-2 following last week's 25-39 domination of host Pacheco.

"I'm proud of them," Timmermans said. "They're getting faster. I expect big things from them at league finals."

Bulldog Destiny Suarez set a personal record while finishing second overall in 23:14 on the 3-mile course.

She improved her previous-best time by 45 seconds.

"Destiny ran amazing," Timmermans said. "I'm not surprised. I knew it was coming. She has a drive to do well."

Ceres High teammates Cristina Arreola (25:16), Joanna Torrez (25:34), Maria Diaz (25:48) and Peyton Jones (26:38) placed fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively.

Pacheco's top five runners took first, third, seventh, 13th and 15th.

The Bulldogs competed shorthanded versus the Panthers.

Brisa Gonzalez, Ceres High's top finisher the previous week, was home sick.

"I was a little concerned," Timmermans said. "But I knew we could still win."

Ceres High will compete against crosstown-rival Central Valley this Thursday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.

The WAC dual meet will get underway at 3 p.m.