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Rojo turns in career-best cross country performance in Hawks loss
Central Valleys Andres Rojo (pictured in the green uniform) set a personal record during his first-place finish against Pacheco and Los Banos this past week at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Andres Rojo has exceeded his own expectations this season.

New to the sport of cross country, the Central Valley High School sophomore finished first overall while competing against Pacheco's and Los Banos' varsity boys teams during a Western Athletic Conference double dual meet last week in Ceres.

"I wanted to try something new this year and see how far I could go," Andres said. "Last year, I did football. I've actually surprised myself. This is my fourth meet ever. I already broke 18 minutes."

Rojo set a personal record while completing the three-mile course at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park in 17 minutes, 47 seconds.

His previous-best time was 18:32.

Andres' toughest competition was Los Banos' Jensen Chase (second, 18:09). Chase challenged Rojo until the 2-mile mark.

"I used the rubber-band effect," Andres said. "I decided to pass him after the second time up the hill. He started falling back."

Rojo accomplished another first by besting all runners during a WAC competition.

He took second versus Patterson.

"This is my first year doing cross country," Andres said. "I'm enjoying it a lot. I've been strong physically and mentally. I'm always exceeding limits. I just work harder than others."

The Hawks (1-4 WAC dual standings) didn't experience team success against either team last week.

Central Valley lost 26-29 to Pacheco.

Rojo, Octavio Hernandez (19:52), Will Sprouse (19:54), Joseph Juarez (20:00) and Jesus Fernandez (22:25) placed first, fifth, sixth, seventh and 10th, respectively.

Los Banos dealt Central Valley a 23-38 loss.

Rojo, Hernandez, Sprouse, Juarez and Fernandez finished first, sixth, seventh, eighth and 16th, respectively.

Jocelyn Barrera, Jazlyn Ramirez, Vanessa Mondragon, Carolina Mejia and Beatriz Garcia helped Central Valley's varsity girls cross country team secure a split against WAC competition last week.

The Hawks improved to 2-3 in the WAC dual-meet standings.

Central Valley posted a 23-40 win over Pacheco.

Barrera, Ramirez, Mondragon, Mejia and Garcia took second (24:05), third (25:01), fifth (25:32), sixth (25:44) and seventh (25:57), respectively.

Central Valley lost 17-42 to Los Banos.

Barrera, Ramirez, Mondragon, Mejia and Garcia placed fourth, eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively.