The Central Valley High School varsity boys cross country team's turnaround this season has been nothing short of amazing.
The Hawks put the finishing touches on a perfect Western Athletic Conference dual-meet campaign with a 17-54 win over the crosstown-rival Ceres High Bulldogs last Wednesday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
"It's crazy," Central Valley standout Andres Rojo said. "We flipped the script in a matter of one year. We got rid of the non-winningest in cross country and started something great. I'm just honored to be on this team."
The Hawks won all five of their WAC dual meets this year.
Central Valley compiled an 0-5 record last fall.
"We're a competitive team now," Rojo said. "We're getting more attention at school. We've never had that before."
"It's good to see another team from Ceres doing well," Bulldogs' head coach Katie Timmermans said. "It doesn't surprise me. They have an awesome coach. She's doing a great job making cross country fun for them."
Rojo, Isaiah Sanchez, Christian Balderas, Sebastian Pena and Enrique Martinez helped lead Central Valley past Ceres High (0-5) last week.
Sanchez took first with a time of 18 minutes, 15 seconds on the 3.1-mile course.
Rojo (18:16), Balderas (18:20), Pena (19:00) and Martinez (19:17) placed second, third, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Ceres High's top five finishers were Joseph Gutierrez (fourth, 18:47), Aaron Alarcon (seventh, 19:18), Dominick Nicastro (10th, 19:56), Kendrick Peralta (14th, 20:49) and Colton Johnson (19th, 22:13).
"We were confident going into the meet," Rojo said. "The first mile was really fast. I was surprised. Eventually, we got to the hill and separated. We don't run anyone else's race. We have our own strategy."
"Our guys are competitive with each other," Timmermans said. "They're hungry to improve on their own times."
Central Valley will compete at the WAC Championships today at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
The meet will get underway at 3:30 p.m.
The Tigers of Patterson (4-1) will be the Hawks' biggest threat.
Central Valley bested Patterson, 23-32, during their head-to-head showdown on Oct. 10.
"We need to perform at our maximum," Rojo said. "Patterson is right on our tails."
Central Valley would accomplish another first by claiming its first WAC overall championship.
"Cross country hasn't had this much success in the past," Rojo said. "It's time to push the cloud away from us, bring out that sunshine, and win that WAC banner. We want to make our goal a reality."