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CHS boys, girls finish second overall at WAC cross country finals
Ceres High head coach Katie Timmermans (pictured right) times Bulldog runners Joshua Madariaga and Christian Linarez (middle) at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Wednesday in Ceres. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity girls cross country team lost by forfeit to Los Banos during the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet season.

The Bulldogs needed to finish ahead of the Tigers at the WAC Championships last Wednesday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park to claim a share of the conference's overall title.

Ceres High had to settle for runner-up honors after taking second at the league meet.

The Bulldogs posted a team score of 40.

Los Banos accumulated 36 points while edging out Ceres High.

"We knew we had to beat Los Banos," Bulldog freshman Peyton Jones said. "We all gave what we could. I'm really proud of us."

Jones turned in a season-best performance.

She finished in fifth place with a time of 22 minutes, 31 seconds on the 3-mile course.

"It's the championships," Peyton said. "I pushed myself."

Jones was promoted to varsity at the start of the WAC season.

"I like running and working with the team," Jones said.

Ceres High teammates Jennifer Cisneros (22:42), Josephina Trevino (22:44), Karina Torrez (22:55) and Maria Diaz (23:29) placed sixth, seventh, eighth and 14th, respectively.

Central Valley High School's varsity girls cross country team tied for third place with Livingston at the WAC finals.

The Hawks and Wolves both totaled 97 points.

Carolina Mejia (11th place, 23:15) led Central Valley.

Hawk teammates Marissa Martinez (19th, 24:35), Vanessa Mondragon (20th, 24:35), Beatriz Garcia (21st, 24:53) and Jazlyn Ramirez (26th, 26:50) also contributed to the Hawks' point total.

"The girls trained hard throughout the season and it paid off today," Central Valley head coach Veronica Moreno said.

Joshua Madariaga, Christian Linarez, Angel Macias, Roman Acosta and Adalberto Rodriguez helped lead Ceres High's varsity boys cross country team to a second-place finish at the WAC Championships.

Madariaga (17:35), Linarez (18:05), Macias (18:37), Acosta (18:38) and Rodriguez (18:40) took fifth, 10th, 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively.

"It's our last race here," Joshua said. "We really pushed each other. Our coach motivated us. I'm not disappointed. I set another personal record. I keep getting better. I never thought I'd come this far. It's mind blowing to me. I barely started running in the eighth grade."

Central Valley (172 points) placed sixth.

The Hawks' top five runners were Andres Rojo (second, 17:19), William Sprouse (17th, 18:51), Octavio Hernandez (34th, 19:58), Jesus Fernandez (59th, 23:01) and Daniel Garrido (60th, 23:02).