The members of Central Valley’s and Ceres High’s cross country programs hurdled bales of hay and trekked through a mud pit while competing at the Hughson SuperCross Invitational on Oct 15.
The top 10 individuals in each division were awarded medals.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind race in our area,” Hawks’ head coach Michael Mrgudic said. “There’s nothing like it. The kids had a blast.”
Mrgudic took first in the Open Division for the second year in a row.
“I want to inspire the kids,” he said. “Hopefully, I did.”
Mrgudic posted a time of 13 minutes, 11 seconds on the 2.5-mile course.
He completed the race in a record time of 12:59 in 2021.
“Any time you step on the line to race, you’re hyped up and go to a different place mentally,” Mrgudic said. “You still feel that same kind of energy.”
Mrgudic was a standout runner at Stanislaus State and Granada Hills Charter High School.
He earned six varsity letters in high school, including three in 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 at the 2018 Kim Duyst Invitational.
He’s an active member of the Hoka Aggies Running Club.
Mrgudic trains twice a day.
“I still run at a high level. I run about 100 miles a week.”Coach Michael Mrgudic
“I still run at a high level,” he said. “I run about 100 miles a week.”
Cesar Bolanos-Aleman led Ceres High’s boys in the Varsity Black Division.
He took 33rd with a time of 16 minutes, 15 seconds on the 2.5-mile course.
Bulldog teammates Yahir Ruiz (16:40) and Eduardo Garcia (17:41) placed 43rd and 61st, respectively.
Ceres High didn’t post a team score due to a thin lineup.
Evelyn Alvarez led Ceres High’s girls in the Varsity Division.
She took 52nd with a time of 19 minutes, 26 seconds on the 2.5-mile course.
Bulldog teammate Jelaine Esguerra (23:58) placed 98th.
Central Valley finished third with a team score of 92 in the Junior-Varsity Boys Division.
Armando Guajardo led the Hawks.
He took sixth with a time of 16 minutes, 04 seconds on the 2.5-mile course.
Hawk teammates LaDre Sengsoury (16:56), Jonathan Macias (17:24), Xavier Ramirez (18:00) and Cesar Hernandez (19:17) placed 17th, 28th, 40th and 59th, respectively.
“I’m proud of them,” Mrgudic said. “They all ran really well.”
Israel Juarez, Ceres High’s lone JV boys competitor, placed 73rd (21:02).
Central Valley JV girls member Ashby Anaya took 51st with a time of 29 minutes on the 2.5-mile course.
Hawk Althea Mumford (19:11) took 10th in the Frosh-Soph Girls Division.
Ceres High’s Jaden Stahl (20:07) and Alexa Romo (23:22) placed 20th and 66th, respectively.
“Althea did amazing,” Mrgudic said.
Central Valley finished 11th with a team score of 242 in the Frosh-Soph Boys Black Division.
Alexis Landa led the Hawks.
He took 25th (16:39).
Landa was in second place for most of the race.
“He was neck-and-neck with the leader until he took a wrong turn and ran an extra half-mile,” Mrgudic said.
Hawk teammates Jackson Stokes (17:52), Emanual Barajas (18:03), Frankie Klino (18:57), Joshua Michelena (19:32) and Marco Coria (21:31) placed 55th, 60th, 76th, 83rd and 101st, respectively.
Ivan Rodriguez led Ceres High’s frosh-soph boys team.
Rodriguez took 59th (18:02).
Ceres High teammates Angel Jacquez (20:32), Zachary Chastain (22:22) and Edwin Martinez (24:09) placed 92nd, 112th and 116th, respectively.