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CHS optimistic
Dawgs competing with new lineups in cross country
Aaron Alarcon (pictured above) and Destiny Suarez have been named team captains for Ceres Highs varsity cross country program this season. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity cross country program will compete with a revamped roster this fall.

Haaydn Martinez, Christian Linarez, Roman Acosta, Noah Holloway and Josh Madariaga are no longer members of Ceres High's boys team.

Martinez, Linarez and Acosta graduated in June.

Haaydn and Christian both earned all-Western Athletic Conference patches.

Holloway relocated to Idaho.

Madariaga, who missed the first three weeks of the 2016 campaign due to breathing issues, didn't return to the team.

"We lost a lot of runners," head coach Katie Timmermans said. "We had a few graduate and our top returning runner (Holloway) moved out of state. Good thing we have Aaron Alarcon stepping up to lead the boys. Right behind him is Joseph Gutierrez. Dominick Nicastro is the piece that makes the team click. He will do everything he can to help his "family" succeed."

Alarcon (Jr.) and Nicastro (Sr.) are key returners.

Alarcon, a third-year runner, has been named Ceres High's team captain.

Gutierrez (Sr.), Fernando Cardoza (Jr.) and Kendrick Perata (Sr.) are the Bulldogs' top newcomers.

Cardoza competed at the frosh-soph level a year ago.

Gutierrez and Perata did track and field during the springtime.

Ceres High posted a team score of 73 while placing third at the 2016 WAC Championships.

Alarcon and (19:56) and Nicastro (20:28) took 22nd and 28th, respectively.

The Bulldogs finished fourth (2-3) during the conference dual-meet season.

Ceres High's girls team returns just two of its top five runners from 2016, including Destiny Suarez (Jr.) and Maria Diaz (Sr.).

Cristina Arreola graduated.

Brisa Gonzalez and Peyton Jones didn't rejoin the team.

"The girls' side is very new," Timmermans said. "We have our top returning runner (Destiny Suarez) leading the way. She sets the standard for the team. Not far behind is Cynthia Renteria. She works hard and gives 100 percent every day."

Suarez, a second-year runner, has been named the Bulldogs' team captain.

Bulldog returnees Jacqueline Rodriguez (So.), Deborah Vasquez (Jr.) and Joanna Torrez (So.) all gained experience at the varsity level last year.

Ceres High's top newcomers are Renteria (So.), Anabelle Verduzco (Jr.) and Alondra Carranza (Jr.).

The Bulldogs totaled 92 points en route to a fourth-place finish at the 2016 WAC Finals.

Suarez, a newcomer to cross country a year ago, took fifth (22:47) on her way to earning an all-league patch.

Diaz (28:44) placed 43rd.

Torrez (27:22), Rodriguez (27:27) and Vasquez (32:06) finished 28th, 32nd and 60th, respectively.

The Bulldogs finished third (3-2) in the WAC dual standings.