At the final Trans-Valley League meet on Wednesday, Oct. 26 both the Riverbank cross country boys and girls teams finished in fourth place.
“The boys team was hit by injuries leading into the meet or we would have finished higher,” said head coach Monte Wood. “Carlos Aguilera, our number one runner, was running extremely well, but he was not able to finish the race due to a hip injury. We also weren’t able to run freshman Ramon Rosas in the varsity race because he was dealing with knee pain.”
As a result, the coach said, the varsity team was a little depleted. However, there were some bright spots as Chris Martinez and Damian Lopez were able to capture individual medals.
“Chris ran a personal record of 17:53 and broke 18 for the first time for 5k,” said Wood.
The junior varsity team performed very well.
“Ramon Rosas won the two-mile race in a fantastic time of 11:13. That was one of the fastest times ever for the two-mile course in the TVL Championship race,” noted Wood. “Isaac Andalon and Christian Aguiniga also medaled in the race. The boys’ team finished second overall.”
The varsity girls were led by Alondra Hernandez who finished fourth overall.
“She set a personal record of 20:34 and nearly chased down a Hughson runner to take third but came up just a second short,” explained the coach. “She kept the Hughson team from having a perfect score. Several of the other runners set personal records but no other runner medaled.”
At the subsection race this past Saturday in Angels Camp, neither the boys nor the girls team qualified to sections.
“It was very disappointing but the boys team was decimated by injuries and runners taking the SAT, so we decided to run Ramon Rosas and Julian Lopez down on the frosh/soph team,” Wood said.
That strategy proved to be solid, as the frosh/soph team of Ramon Rosas, Julian Lopez, Isaac Andalon, Christian Aguiniga, Fernando Martinez, and Ty Luu qualified to the section meet. Rosas and Lopez both received medals.
“This is a talented group of young runners, plus we have a lot of juniors on the team, so the future of the program is in good hands,” added Wood.
Only Alondra Hernandez qualified to sections for the girls. She will be competing at the section meet to try to qualify to state. The Section meet will be hosted in Folsom on Saturday, Nov. 12.
“Division IV has changed so much over the last few years as the section has expanded the enrollment size for D IV schools from 1000 to 1350,” Wood pointed out. “That has added 15 schools to D IV and all of them are large schools. While we are still holding our own, it does make for a greater challenge to qualify to sections on down years. We have had a down year this year, but we have almost all of our runners back next year.”