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Cross Country Bruins Shine In Santa Clarita
If Southern California runners see another maroon tank top in front of them, it will be much too soon.

Riverbank High's cross country program exploded onto the five kilometer course at Lake Castaic with phenomenal performances in all four races at the Santa Clarita Invitational on Oct. 4. Riverbank landed two individual titles and saw the frosh-soph girls dominate small-school competition with five of the seven finishes and an easy race championship. Sophomore Haley Richardson erupted to a stellar time of 21 minutes, seven seconds to finish first in the race. Sabrina Garcia, Stephanie Zarate, Melissa Romero, and Lydia Hodges all finished within 30 seconds of each other to keep Riverbank atop the race standings.

"They did a great job of running together," Riverbank coach Monte Wood said.

Mikayla Florez also won the large school race easily after a superb time of 18:25. She was alone for the last two miles of the race to easily snare the title.

"Her time is a really good time considering where we are in her training," Wood said. "I put her in the large school race thinking that there would be more competition but some of the larger schools went to the Clovis Invitational instead."

The varsity boys shined with a third overall finish among small school teams. Luis Figueroa (fifth), Jonathen Beliera (seventh) Adrian Salazar (eighth) and Aramando Rodriguez (18th) all came through with sharp times to lead the group.

The frosh-soph boys weren't without a highlight, as Ruben Paredez landed third in a time that would have bested most varsity runners. Riverbank's talented cross country team is back in action at the third and final Trans-Valley League meet on Oct. 24 at Legion Park in Modesto.