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Ceres Highs Jones, Central Valleys Rojo to lead teams
Ceres Highs varsity girls cross country team returns its top runner from a year ago in sophomore Peyton Jones. Jones placed fifth at the 2015 Western Athletic Conference Championships. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Peyton Jones developed into the top runner on Ceres High's varsity girls cross country team as a freshman in 2015.

Jones turned in a season-best performance when she finished in fifth place with a time of 22 minutes, 31 seconds on the 3-mile course at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park during the Western Athletic Conference Finals.

Peyton helped lead the Bulldogs to a runner-up finish at the conference's year-end meet and 11th-place showing at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III competition.

She took 67th (23:54) at Divisionals.

"Once we got closer to league finals and sub-sections, she started testing herself and became more of an aggressive runner which took her to the front of the pack," Ceres High head coach Katie Timmermans said.

Other Bulldog returnees expected to contribute this year include Maria Diaz (Jr.) and Cristina Arreola (Sr.).

Diaz and Arreola took 82nd (24:48) and 86th (25:02), respectively, at the 2015 Division-III meet.
Maria finished 14th (23:29) at the WAC championships.

Ceres High's top newcomer is Destiny Suarez (So.).

Ceres High's varsity boys cross country program returns three key runners from a year ago, including Joshua Madariaga (Jr.), Christian Linarez (Sr.) and Roman Acosta (Sr.).

Madariaga, Linarez and Acosta placed fifth (17:35), 10th (18:05) and 15th (18:38), respectively, while leading the Bulldogs to second-place showing at the 2015 WAC finals.

Ceres High finished 17th as a team at Divisionals.

Linarez (19:00), Madariaga (19:43) and Acosta (20:05) took 77th, 102nd and 111th, respectively.

The Bulldogs' top newcomer is Noah Holloway (So.).

Holloway placed 17th (13:05) at the Division-III frosh boys meet last fall.

"Both the kids and I are motivated and excited for this coming season," Timmermans said. "I have high expectations for both boys and girls teams. The returners have realized what they're capable of when they work hard and make realistic goals."

Central Valley's varsity girls squad welcomes back four competitors in Vanessa Mondragon (Sr.), Natalia Guzman (Sr.), Angelica Macias (Sr.) and Rocio Villasenor (Sr.).

Mondragon placed 20th (24:35) at the WAC finals and 89th (25:18) at the Division-III finals.
Guzman and Macias took 128th (30:39) and 136th (33:11) at Divisionals.

The Hawks tied for third place with Livingston at the conference championships and finished 16th at Divisionals.

Central Valley's top newcomers are Emily Mendoza (Jr.) and Dana Miranda (Jr.).

Mendoza and Miranda both ran at the frosh-soph level last year.

Central Valley's top returnees on the boys side are Andres Rojo (Jr.) and Daniel Garrido (Sr.).

Rojo placed second overall (17:19) while competing in the varsity division at the WAC Championships.

Andres brought home a fifth-place medal from the Division-III sophomore boys meet.

Garrido placed 60th (23:02) at the conference meet and 149th (21:45) at Divisionals.

Central Valley placed sixth at the WAC Championships and 22nd at Divisionals as a team.

The Hawks' top newcomers are Chase Bogart (So.), Aaron Vander Wal (Jr.) and Ivan Villegas (Jr.).

Bogart took 22nd (13:39) at the Division-III frosh boys competition.

Chase compiled a perfect 6-0 record during the WAC frosh-soph dual season. He also finished first at the conference's preseason and year-end championships.