You would think that after a long, adventurous trip to Hawaii for competition earlier in September, Riverbank’s cross country squad might have a letdown going into Thursday’s (Sept. 26) Trans-Valley League race.
“I was worried, but they did not let up,” said coach Monte Wood. “I don’t think too many of them ran the best race of their lives, but they ran gutsy. The girls dominated again with a one, three, four, five, six finish.”
Mikayla Florez ran a time of 19:01 and that was a personal record for that course, and it was done while running all by herself.
“She has her sights set on going for the course record at the final TVL race of the year,” Wood added. “Sabrina Garcia, Joslyn Beliera, and Kimberly Ruvalcaba all set personal 5K records on Thursday. I can’t say enough about newcomers Joslyn Beliera and Kimberly Ruvalcaba. They are outstanding runners and individuals.”
The boy’s race proved to be a great one, the coach noted.
“Hughson lead at the mile mark, but we moved into a virtual tie at the 1.5 mile mark. It stayed that way until after the 2-mile mark when Zach Morret and Luis Figueroa separated themselves from the pack.”
When that happened, Wood said, the team’s other four runners kept pushing and had taken the lead in the race with 1000 meters to go. Adrian Salazar was able to outkick Ian Brooks from Hughson (Ian Brooks very rarely gets outkicked in any race, Wood explained) and Jonathen Beliera had distanced himself from Hughson’s No. 3 runner.
“Ruben Paredez and Moises Gomez worked together to finish ahead of Hughson’s number four and five runners and we came up with a 35-28 win. I was worried that our kids might not have enough left in the tank for the last mile, but they did and they almost assured us of at least a share of the TVL championship for the first time since 2008.”
Luis Figueroa ran 17:00, Adrian Salazar 17:12, Jonathen Beliera 17:26, Ruben Paredez 17:46, and Moises Gomez 17:46.
“This is a very good team, and if we continue to improve, we will be right there for a section title and a chance to do well at the state meet,” Wood said.