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Boys Keep Top Spot In TVL Cross Country

The varsity and frosh/soph boys again won their races to put them firmly in first place of the league. The squads were winners in the TVL Meet #2 in Modesto on Sept. 27.

“Juan Lopez placed second, retaining his top spot on the team. We will probably see many changes between our top three boys as they work to make each other better,” said coach Rick Heflin. “On average the top seven boys that ran last year beat their times from this meet last year by thirty seconds to a minute. Our league is strong this year and even though the scores don’t show it the real difference between the top three teams is just a few placings. The finals should be a great race between the top three.”

Lopez ran the course in 17:52 while Gabe Romero finished third in 17:55. Also breaking into the top five was Sam Fletcher, clocking a time of 18:03 for a fifth place overall finish.

“The frosh soph boys are looking really strong. We had three boys in the 11-minute range and we had seven runners in the top 10 of the race,” explained Heflin. “Braiden Vega, a first time runner, won the race.”

Vega’s time was 11:52. Andres Cornejo was second overall, 11:54 and Moises Grajeda took third in 11:55.

“The girls ran well and we saw some great improvement in times. Jackie Lau is still our top runner. Marisol Aguayo made huge improvement and took over our second spot,” Heflin said.

After running in the TVL Meet on Wednesday, the cross country team headed to Bear River Reservoir for their annual training weekend.

“Thank you to all the parents and people that helped us and donated to the jog-a-thon so we could go to the training weekend,” Heflin said. “The training weekend was awesome. Our team worked very hard on the hills. At around 6,000 elevation running is a little harder. The team did a great job.”

With flat land most prominent in the Central Valley, Heflin said the runners get in the work they need during the training weekend.

“We have been known for years for our hill running ability which is funny when you look around our area. This trip is a big reason for that reputation,” the coach explained. “We start our afternoon run at the base of a three-mile hill. No cross country course is one continuous hill. We then continue on a course of 6.1, 9.1 or 11 miles to finish. When you run under those conditions, a few hills in a course is no big deal.”

Next up for the cross country team will be their annual invitational at Woodward Reservoir, set for Wednesday, Oct. 4.