For the second time this season, Ceres High’s varsity girls cross country team posted the second-best score against Western Athletic Conference competition.
The Bulldogs totaled 41 points while finishing behind first-place Los Banos (25) during the WAC’s #2 cluster meet on Oct. 2 at Eagal Lakes in Tracy.
The Bulldogs topped Johansen (96), Beyer (123), Grace Davis (128), Pacheco (132) and Mountain House (148).
“The girls knew they had to go out there and run a bit harder than normal. We were missing one of our top runners.”Coach Katie Thiele
“The girls knew they had to go out there and run a bit harder than normal,” coach Katie Thiele said. “We were missing one of our top runners.”
Jacqueline Rodriguez, Diana Del Real Serrano, Karina Baez, Esmeralda Garcia and Elizabeth Mercado contributed to Ceres High’s point total.
Rodriguez led the Bulldogs with a fifth-place finish on the 3-mile course.
She completed the race in 24 minutes, 47 seconds.
Del Real Serrano (25:16), Baez (25:21), Garcia (26:59) and Mercado (27:00) took sixth, seventh, 11th and 12th, respectively.
Ceres High managed to place second despite competing shorthanded.
Wendy Lizola did not participate due to another school commitment.
Mercado posted Ceres High’s fifth-best score in place of Lizola.
“I talked with her at practice and before the race,” Thiele said. “She was pretty fired up. She rose to the occasion. She’s normally our sixth or seventh runner.”
Ceres High tightened its grip on second place in the WAC standings.
“The program is progressing,” Thiele said. “I always have high expectations.”
Lathrop edged out Ceres High for second place for the second time this season last week.
The Bulldogs posted a team score of 59 during the WAC’s #2 cluster meet.
Ceres High finished behind Pacheco (33) and Lathrop (56).
Mountain House (133), Beyer (136), Johansen (137) and Los Banos (175) placed fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Thiele said. “We missed second by three points. It was very close.”
Bryan Erenas (eighth, 20:10) was the Bulldogs’ top finisher, followed by Ronaldo Flores (ninth, 20:19), Fabian Amparo (10th, 20:20), Gonzalo Rivera (11th, 20:28) and Jossue Portillo (23rd, 21:16).
Ceres High remained in third place in the WAC standings. “This is one the hardest groups I’ve had,” Thiele said. “They really enjoy running.”
Flores, Amaparo and Portillo are newcomers to cross country.
“It’s a new team but it’s not short of determination,” Thiele said.
The WAC’s third cluster meet will be staged on Oct. 16 at River Bluff Regional Park.