Central Valley High coach Michael Mrgudic competed in the Open Division of the Hughson SuperCross Invitational on Oct. 16 at Hughson High School.
Mrgudic, 26, placed first overall with a time of 12 minutes, 59 seconds on the 2.6-mile course.
“At the beginning of the school year, the kids asked me if I was going to do the coaches’ race,” he said. “When it came closer, my schedule changed and it was as event I could do. I had never done a cross country race with a mud pit and hay bale hurdles. It was very fun.”
Mrgudic broke the course record.
“I didn’t smash it, but mission accomplished,” he said.
Mrgudic topped 48 other runners.
“I wanted to try to inspire all the kids at the meet to work hard and run fast,” he said.
Mrgudic was promoted to head coach of Central Valley High School’s cross country program prior to the start of the 2021 season.
He graduated from Stanislaus State and Granada Hills Charter High School in 2018 and 2013, respectively. He’s a substitute teacher at Blaker-Kinser Jr. High in Ceres.
Mrgudic earned six varsity letters in high school, including three in both cross country and track and field.
He qualified for the CIF State Track & Field Championships in the 1,600 during his senior year.
Mrgudic competed in both sports at the college level.
He earned all-region and all-conference honors in track and field.
Mrgudic broke the 41-year-old school record in the 5,000-meter run while competing at the 2018 Kim Duyst Invitational.
Mrgudic is an active member of the Hoka Aggies Running Club.
He won the Santa Rosa Half-Marathon in August.
Central Valley’s and Ceres High’s boys and girls cross country programs had mixed results at the SuperCross Invitational.
“It’s definitely a treat to do a race like that. It’s a unique event. The kids had a blast.”Coach Michael Mrgudic
“It’s definitely a treat to do a race like that,” Mrgudic said. “It’s a unique event. The kids had a blast.”
Ceres High’s varsity boys posted a team score of 303 while finishing in 12th place.
Reymundo Soto led the Bulldogs.
He placed 35th with a time of 15 minutes, 24 seconds on the 2.6-mile race.
Eduardo Ortiz (16:40), Cesar Bolanos (17:17), Elijah Vas Dinis (17:17), Diego Ayala (18:10), Adrian Ontiveros (18:17), Erick Valladares (18:30) and Nathan Martin (12:12) took 76th, 92nd, 93rd, 111th, 116th, 122nd and 135th, respectively.
The Hawks had just two competitors in the varsity boys division.
Joshua Michelena (52nd, 15:58) led Central Valley.
Hawk teammate Armando Guajardo (132nd, 20:12) placed 132nd.
Central Valley’s varsity girls team had just one participate at the Hughson event.
Claudia Aguilar (24:50) finished in 106th place.
Ceres High took 12th in the frosh-soph boys division.
The Bulldogs amassed a team score of 376.
Salvador Erenas (19:29) paced Ceres High on the 2-mile course.
Bulldog teammates Atul Julka (21:16), Gabriel Sandoval (21:40), Eduardo Garcia (22:44) and Alexander Vas Dinis (26:33) finished 110th, 112th, 127th and 136th, respectively.
Alexander Contreras (63rd, 18:25) led Central Valley’s frosh-soph boys team, which competed with a four-person lineup.
Hawk teammates LaDre Sensoury (20:06), Alfredo Garcia (21:02) and Kevin Lee (21:29) placed 90th, 105th and 111th, respectively.
Ceres High’s Jaden Stahl and Alexa Romo, and Central Valley’s Mariana Campos, Milianna Rios, Keilany Torres and Yahaira Torres all raced in the frosh-soph girls division.
Stahl (21:51) and Romo (24:16) finished 29th and 54th, respectively.
Mariana (76th, 26:18), Milianna, Keilany and Yahaira placed in the top 84.