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Bruins Off To Solid Start In Cross Country

Riverbank’s cross country season has kicked off, the Bruins taking part in two races since the beginning of September.

The varsity teams competed in the inaugural Kim Dyust Invitational at the River Oaks Golf Course in Ceres. Chris Martinez and Alondra Hernandez both finished in the top two for individuals. The boys’ team finished second overall behind Downey.

“All but two runners ran faster for 4k than they did the week before in our time trial,” noted head coach Monte Wood.

The Trans-Valley League season kicked off last Wednesday on a hot day at the Tuolumne Regional Park. The boys varsity team finished second overall to Escalon.

“Chris Martinez led the team with a second place overall finish. He battled for the last half of the race with a Ripon runner, but faded at the end for a close second place finish,” Wood said. “It was only the second time he had run under 18 minutes for 5k. Sophomore Ramon Rosas hung tough as well and finished fourth in the race.”

Julian Lopez was ninth. Wood said the team’s number four and five runners just didn’t run well enough to close the gap, so there is a lot of room for improvement.

“Alondra Hernandez finished eighth overall in the girls race, but we really weren’t going to compete for the team title, so we had her run the race at a comfortable pace,” noted Wood. “We are shooting for a great race from her at the prestigious Woodbridge Invitational in Orange County this Friday night, so we held her back a little bit.”

Anastasia Toscano and Diane Murillo ran really well; both of them ran personal records on the course.

On Friday night, Sept. 15, a total of 19 Riverbank runners will be competing in the Woodbridge Invitational in Orange County.

“It is one of the largest cross country races in the nation. It is a flat, fast course, and our race is at night under the lights,” Wood said. “It will be competitive and in the cool of night. We should see some really fast times.”