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Mixed results for CHS, CV cross country
Bulldogs, Hawks compete at Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section Championships
Rey Soto
Ceres High’s Rey Soto competed at Sac-Joaquin Division-II Sub-Section Varsity Boys Cross Country Championships on Nov. 5 in Angels Camp.

The members of Ceres High School’s cross country program traveled to Angels Camp on Nov. 5 to compete at the Sac-Joaquin Division-II Sub-Section Championships.

“This race was great because a lot of the kids set personal records,” Bulldogs’ head coach Owen Brown said. “We’ve made improvements from the year before. We had a lot more runners. Our team grew twice as big. We’ll be in a much better position next season.”

Ceres High’s varsity boys posted a team score of 584 en route to a 21st-place finish.

Whitney (48), Vacaville (114) and Vista Del Lago (137) took first, second and third, respectively.

Erick Valladares-Ponce was the Bulldogs’ top placer.

He took 101st with a time of 18 minutes, 21 seconds on the 3-mile course at Frogtown.

“Erick took things more serious this year,” Brown said. “He wanted to get better and he did.”

Rey Soto (18:54), Cesar Bolanos-Aleman (19:53), Yahir Ruiz (19:55) and Simon Pezzoni (20:22) finished 114th, 138th, 139th and 147th, respectively, while rounding out Ceres High’s team scoring.

Bulldog teammates Eduardo Garcia (20:39), Salvador Erenas-Rios (20:57), Gabriel Sandoval (21:18), Arturo Estrada (22:38), Aaron Lopez (23:17) and Javier Torres (26:27) placed 152nd, 157th, 161st, 168th, 171st and 177th, respectively.

“They made improvement throughout the year,” Brown said.

Bolanos-Aleman, Ruiz, Garcia, Estrada and Torres will be lost to graduation.

“I wish I could keep them around for another year,” Brown said. “But I’m happy they’re going to graduate and move on.”

Valladeres-Ponce, Soto, Pezzoni, Erenas-Rios, Sandoval and Lopez could return to the team in 2023.

“They’ll be hungry to do even better next year,” Brown said.

Seniors Evelyn Alvarez, Priscilla Ibarra and Jelaine Esguerra represented Ceres High’s shorthanded varsity girls squad at sub-sections.

The Bulldogs didn’t post a team score due to a lack of numbers.

Standout underclassmen Brianna Luna and Jaden Stahl raced at the frosh-soph level.

“I didn’t want them to get discouraged competing against experienced senior runners,” Brown said. 

Granite Bay (73), Whitney (88) and St. Francis (90) took first, second and third, respectively.

“I didn’t have any (team) expectations because I had two of my girls run in the frosh-soph race."

Alvarez led the Bulldogs with a 111th-place finish.

She posted a time of 23 minutes, 39 seconds on the 3-mile course.

“I’m really proud of her,” Brown said. “She got better. That’s wonderful.”

Ibarra (27:25) and Esguerra (31:02) placed 137th and 140th, respectively.

Ceres High’s frosh-soph girls squad failed to post a team score because of a thin lineup.

Bella Vista (41), Granite Bay (50) and St. Francis (105) took first, second and third, respectively.

“We would have finished in the middle (of the pack) if we had a fifth runner." 

Luna led the Bulldogs with a 58th-place finish.

The freshman posted a time of 15 minutes, 36 seconds on the 2.2-mile course.

“We have all enjoyed seeing her improve. She’s not peaking yet. She has room to get faster. She will.”

Stahl (15:41), Stephanie Espinoza (17:17) and Alexa Romo (18:11) finished 63rd, 106th and 121st, respectively. 

Stahl and Romo are sophomores.

Espinoza is a freshman.

“They (Luna, Stahl, Espinoza and Romo) did alright,” said Brown. “But I know they wanted to do better. They wanted to be more competitive. They have the potential to get better. We can build a competitive (varsity) team around them.”

Zachary Chastain (17:49) and Alexander Vas Dinias (20:37) took 163rd and 167th, respectively, in the Sophomore Boys Division.

Sergio Torres (13:50) and Ivan Rodriguez (14:17) placed 60th and 73rd, respectively, in the Frosh Boys Division.

Hawks advance

Central Valley High School cross-country standouts Alexis Landa, Mariana Campos and Althea Mumford extended their seasons after posting personal-best times at the Sac-Joaquin Division-I Sub-Section Championships on Nov. 5 at Frogtown near Angels Camp.

Landa, Campos and Mumford secured individual berths to the Section meet.

“They ran the best race of their lives up to this point,” said Hawks’ coach Michael Mrgudic. 

Landa finished 22nd in the Sophomore Boys Division.

He completed the 2.2-mile course in 12 minutes, 02 seconds.

Hawk teammates Jackson Stokes (14:12), Joshua Michelena (14:27) and Marco Coria (15:44) placed 100th, 107th and 124th, respectively.

Campos brought home a 13th-place medal from the Frosh-Soph Girls Sub-Section Championships. She completed the 2.2-mile course in 14 minutes, 30 seconds.

Mumford, a freshman, took 22nd with a time of 14 minutes, 46 seconds.

Central Valley teammates Milianna Rios (19:03) and Alicia Espinoza (19:34) placed 104th and 107th, respectively.

The Hawks posted a team score of 346 while finishing 11th in the Junior-Varsity Boys Division.

Cesar Hernandez, Armando Guajardo, LaDre Sengsoury, Xavier Ramirez and Jonathan Macias contributed to Central Valley’s point total.

Hernandez led the Hawks with a 70th-place showing.

He completed the 3-mile course in 19 minutes, 23 seconds.

Guajardo (19:34), Sengsoury (19:57), Ramirez (20:50), Macias (20:52) and Kevin Garcia (20:58) took 75th, 91st, 61st, 122nd and 126th, respectively.

Central Valley had two runners compete in the JV Girls Division.

Victoria Guajardo (27:02) took 80th, while Ashby Anaya finished 97th (30:40).

Emanuel Barajas and Frankie Klino raced in the Frosh Boys Division.

Barajas (14:43) and Klino (19:55) placed 77th and 105th, respectively, on the 2.2-mile course.