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Bruin Runners Open Cross Country Season
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Bruin cross country runner Ramon Rosas, wearing bib number 829, leads a group in a heat at the Flame Invitational meet in Lodi on Friday. The races kicked off the 2018 season for Riverbank High’s cross country team. Photo Courtesy StanCo Distance, Ceres
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Riverbank runners Ainsley Wood, 821, Daniela Raya, 819, and Clarissa Verduzco, 820, are bunched up near the start of Friday’s Lodi Flame Invitational cross country meet. The first Trans-Valley League meet is set for Wednesday, Sept. 5 in Modesto. Photo Courtesy StanCo Distance, Ceres

Riverbank High School’s cross country team broke out of the starting gate last Friday, with a visit to Lodi for the Flame Invitational meet.

Head coach Monte Wood reported a mixed bag of results.

“We have a large group of freshmen and sophomores on the team,” he said. “We were able to put a complete team of freshman girls, freshman boys and sophomore boys on the line. But we had a few from each group not quite ready to run who just cheered them on.”

The coach added that this year’s Invitational was dominated by Division 1 schools and had very few lower division schools, like Riverbank.

The freshman girls placed fourth overall as a team and the freshman boys were eighth overall. The sophomore boys finished at eighth overall as a team.

“If we had combined the freshmen and sophomore boys together, we would have placed much higher in the sophomore division,” Wood said.

There were some bright spots during the competition, he added.

“Highlights include the run by Aimee Rosales,” the coach noted. “She was very impressive in her first race, finishing 12th place overall in a time of 14:23. She’s the last of the Rosales sisters to run for me. Jocelyn and Adriana were great competitors for me, maybe two of the toughest runners I have ever coached. Aimee seems to be no different.”

Anthony Leon also medaled for the freshman boys.

“He didn’t run much over the summer but showed that he has a lot of talent. He might be the most talented runner we have had on the boys’ side in quite some time. We will see how he develops,” Wood said. “Giorgio Retana ran in his first race Friday and ran 12:20 for two miles. Not bad for a kid built like a linebacker and in his first race.”

The next race for the Bruins is at Tuolumne Park in Modesto on Sept 5. It is the first TVL race of the season.