Ceres High’s cross country program will face new competition during the 2018 Western Athletic Conference season.
The revamped WAC features a total of eight teams including the Bulldogs, Los Banos Tigers, Pacheco Panthers, Beyer Patriots, Grace Davis Spartans, Johansen Vikings, Lathrop Spartans and Mountain House Mustangs.
Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Lathrop and Mountain House moved to the WAC as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s conference realignment plan.
"As always, our goal is to qualify for sections finals as a team.”Coach Katie Thiele
“Our league has a ton of new teams now so the kid aren’t sure what to expect,” head coach Katie Thiele said. “If they are ready to compete, put themselves in a good position during the race, and do their best, I am happy. I think Ceres will surprise some people this year. As always, our goal is to qualify for sections finals as a team.”
Aaron Alarcon (Sr.), Fernando Cardoza (Sr.), Colton Johnson (Jr.) Bryan Erenas (Jr) and Daniel Yepez (Sr.) and will lead Ceres High’s varsity boys team.
Alarcon, Johnson and Cardoza are returners.
Aaron and Colton placed 11th and 45th, respectively, at the 2017 WAC Championships.
Destiny Suarez (Sr.), Deborah Vasquez (Sr.) Jackie Rodriguez (Jr.), Gabby Soto (So.), Karina Baez (Fr.), Andrea Contreras (Fr.) and Carmen Ramirez (Fr.) will lead Ceres High’s youth-laden varsity girls team.
Suarez, Rodriguez and Vasquez are returners.
Destiny, Jacqueline and Deborah placed 14th, 24th and 26th at the 2017 WAC finals.
“It takes a lot of will power to be competitive in this sport,” Alarcon said. “It’s very difficult. Once you experience your first race, you realize how tough it is.”
Ceres High’s boys and girls team both finished fourth in the conference’s overall standings last fall.
The Bulldog will begin a new chapter this fall as members of the CCC.
“I believe both the boys and girls teams have a shot at being at the top of league this year,” Thiele said.
“It’s going to be tough competition,” Alarcon said. “I have faith we’ll be able to put up a good fight. We want to keep every meet close.”