It took three weeks, but Ceres High's varsity girls cross country team is no longer winless.
The Bulldogs improved to 1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet standings with a 23-36 win over the Livingston Wolves on Wednesday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
"It's pretty exciting to see them finally win," Ceres High head coach Katie Timmermans said. "They've been working really hard."
Brisa Gonzalez was the Bulldogs' top placer last week.
She posted a time of 23 minutes, 54 seconds en route to a runner-up finish on the 3.1-mile course.
"I still have a lot of room to grow," Gonzalez said. "I'm just a junior."
A newcomer to the sport, Brisa bested 60 other runners while finishing in fifth place at the WAC preseason meet.
Gonzalez took third versus Patterson.
Brisa was sixth at Los Banos.
"It is kind of a surprise," Gonzalez said. "I'm really committed. Running is one of my passions."
Bulldog teammates Destiny Suarez (23:59), Cristina Arreola (24:35), Peyton Jones (24:44) and Maria Diaz (25:05) finished third, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, against the Wolves.
Livingston's Alma Reyes (22:31) was the top overall finisher.
Wolves 27, Bulldogs 31
Hurt by a lack of depth, Ceres High's varsity boys cross country team sustained its third consecutive loss during Western Athletic Conference dual-meet competition this past week.
The Wolves of Livingston edged the Bulldogs 27-31 on Wednesday at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
Winless Ceres High lost by a combined eight points to Livingston, Patterson and Los Banos.
"We should be 3-0," said Bulldog veteran runner Christian Linarez, who completed last week's 3.1-mile race in a personal-best time of 18 minutes, 42 seconds on his way to a runner-up finish. "We just need to find a fifth runner."
Ceres High teammates Noah Holloway (18:59), Haaydn Martinez (19:01) and Roman Acosta (19:29) took fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively.
"Right now, Haaydn is pushing me," Linarez said. "He's doing a great job."
Aaron Alarcon (13th place, 20:51) was the Bulldogs' final point scorer against the Wolves.
Ceres High's Dominick Nicastro (21:07), Justin Barnes (21:12), Jaime Mejia (21:16), Gurpreet Dhami (21:30), Joshua Madariaga (21:40), Julian Virgen (23:18), Brandon Rodriguez (24:55) and Isai Anguiano (26:34) placed 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 22nd, 26th, 27th and 30th, respectively.
The Wolves had runners finish first (18:41), third (18:53), sixth (19:15), eighth (19:36) and ninth (19:59) versus the Bulldogs.
"If we had a fifth runner, we would have won for sure," Linarez said.
Ceres High can no longer win the conference's overall title.
"It's really frustrating because our goal was to be league champs," Linarez said.