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Florez, Bruins Still Running Strong As Season Winds Down
A spectacular freshman year for Riverbank High's Mikayla Florez has seen increased success from cross country course work in the fall to spring runs on the prep track.

On Friday, Florez added one more superb mark to her already dazzling career under Bruin coach Monte Wood.

Florez kicked to a 2 minute, 23.89 second finish in the 800 for a new meet record and first place finish at the 14-team Sheldon Distance Carnival on Friday, April 29.

Her big finish highlighted a strong day from Bruin runners at the Sheldon campus. Adriana Rosales and Jocelyn Rosales also finished first and third, respectively, in the 3200. Jackie Herrera (second), Gina Retana (fourth) and Deihcy Cota (fifth) also placed in the 1600 while Ben Hodges ended sixth in the 1600.

The Bruins were rolling on the momentum of a tight contest with Hughson that saw Bruin boys claim late success to win by a narrow margin.

Fabian Arana (discus), Mike Woods (pole vault), Robert Martinez (200), Christian Contreras (triple jump) and Ben Hodges (3200) all landed clutch wins to ensure the victory.

The Riverbank girls led early, but saw a Hughson win in the final race, 1600 relay, signal a painfully close defeat.

"(The Hughson dual) was the best dual meet that I have ever been a part of," coach Wood said. "Both teams, Hughson and Riverbank, boys and girls, battled to the end. Our kids went into a frenzy as it was announced over the PA system.

"Afterwards, our athletes and Hughson athletes were hugging each other and high-fiving each other in a great show of sportsmanship."

Vanessa Vargas was the anchor runner on the winning 400 relay, finished first in the 200, triple jump and placed second in the 100.

Hilmar has undefeated programs on the Trans-Valley League track, and will host Riverbank today, May 4, in a key conference showdown.

Coach Wood said his teams still have a great shot a league title, and look to keep getting stronger going into the league championship tournament, May 11 at Patterson.