Central Valley’s and Ceres High’s cross country programs had mixed results while competing at the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section Championships earlier this month.
The meet was staged on Nov. 4 at Frogtown.
“It’s such a tough course,” Bulldogs’ head coach Owen Brown said. “It’s pretty challenging. There are a lot of hills. It’s hard to PR there. We practiced on some hills to get the kids ready.”
“I’m happy with their performance,” Hawks’ leader Michael Mrgudic stated “We left with a lot of improvements on that course.”
Central Valley’s varsity boys posted a team score of 475 en route to a 19th-place finish at the Division-I Championships.
Davis (76), Lincoln (94) and Oak Ridge (112) took first, second and third, respectively.
“We fell short of our goal, which was to qualify for sections,” Mrgudic said. “They ran well. They made big jumps this year. It was amazing to watch.”
Second-year runner Kevin Garcia led the Hawks.
He placed 81st with a time of 19 minutes, 19 seconds on the 3-mile course.
“I’m super proud of Kevin,” said Mrgudic. “He did a great job. He improved a lot as a runner. He came in totally new to the sport (last season). He was a pleasure to coach. He was hard-working and motivating.”
Hawk teammates Alexis Landa (19:46), LaDre Sengsoury (19:48), Cesar Hernandez (20:38), Joshua Michelena (21:59), Jackson Stokes (22:18), Jadin Navarro (22:45), Marco Coria (24:32), Mauro Mendoza Rosales (26:46) and Learyc Yoppini (29:25) finished 94th, 95th, 111th, 128th, 130th, 133rd, 143rd, 147th and 150th, respectively.
“Alexis led the entire race for the first half mile,” Mrgudic said. “With that competitive drive, I see him winning big races in the future.”
Garcia, Sengsoury, Hernandez, Michelena, Stokes and Coria all set personal records on the Frogtown course.
Garcia, Sengsoury, Hernandez, Navarro and Yoppini represented Central Valley’s cross country program for the final time.
Sengsoury was a three-year contributor.
“LaDre has grown so much as a runner and person,” Mrgudic said. “He’s a lot more outgoing. He’s a good teammate.”
Ceres High’s varsity boys posted a team score of 716 en route to a 24th-place finish at the Division-II Championships.
Jesuit (31), Vacaville (121) and Rocklin (145) took first, second and third, respectively.
“It was an opportunity to get experience there,” Brown said. “We only had one senior running and that was Aaron (Lopez).”
Lopez led the Bulldogs.
He placed 116th with a time of 19 minutes, 27 seconds on the 3-mile course.
“Aaron gave it a great effort,” Brown said. “I’m proud of him. He’s really made huge improvements because he stayed dedicated and wanted to have a really good senior season. He did surprise me. He became our No. 1 runner. It’s because of his determination and work ethic. That’s why we made him team captain.”
Ceres High teammates Martin Bolanos Aleman (21:12), Kevin Pena (22:25), Abraham Rodriguez (22:43), Aiden Ochoa (23:30) and Isac Cazarez (24:54) finished 149th, 166th, 172nd, 182nd and 188th, respectively.
“There’s more potential,” said Brown. “They can get faster.”
The Bulldogs had just two runners compete in the varsity girls division.
Jaden Stahl placed 91st with a time of 24 minutes, 57 seconds on the 3-mile course.
“That was her first time running the 3-mile course there,” Brown said. “She beat a lot of runners. That’s a good thing. I think she’ll keep improving.”
“It wasn’t my best performance,” Stahl said. “I definitely could have worked the hills better. I could have pushed myself harder. It’s almost intimidating because of how fast some of the girls are. I tried my best to race with them and compete. The extra mile, you feel worn out before you get to the hills.”
Ceres High’s Samira Mendoza (28:18) finished 125th.
“That’s a pretty good time for her,” Brown said. “This is her first year running. She had a good attitude. She stuck with it and kept working at it.”
Bulldog teammates Brianna Luna and Stephanie Espinoza did not compete due to other commitments.