A solid Saturday of competition for the Riverbank Bruins in Folsom saw the varsity girls team qualify for the State Cross Country meet, while a pair of running brothers also made the cut to continue their season.
For the boys race, Adan Chavez and Emmanuel Chavez qualified for the State Meet by placing among the top five individuals in the race. Dixon’s lead runner took the race out fast in the first mile, said RHS coach Robbie Searway.
“Adan ran with a chase group between fifth and tenth place and Emmanuel was a bit further behind that,” Searway explained. “We had talked about moving up through the field after the first mile and both did a great job continuing to pass runners.”
Adan moved into second place in the latter half of the race and finished strong without anyone around him, added Searway. Emmanuel stayed in with a close group of three but moved ahead of one runner from Hughson and one from Bret Harte in the last 800 and held them off to the finish to take fifth place in the race.
The varsity girls team included Kim Ruvalcaba, Haley Richardson, Sabrina Garcia, Joslyn Beliera, Lydia Hodges, Stephanie Bernal, and Elitania Rosas.
“Our top four girls returned from last year’s team and were experienced with the course,” explained Searway. “Two very good freshman runners from Bret Harte and Sonora took the race out hard. Kim positioned herself well in a group around tenth and moved up after the first mile. She has always been a great competitive racer and worked hard to improve from her finish last year as a sophomore.”
Ruvalcaba caught up to the third place runner from Calaveras and they ran together for the second half of the race, Searway said.
“In the final 800 Kim continued to battle the girl but she pulled away in the last 50 meters and Kim took fourth place. Her time of 19:17 was faster than Mikayla (Florez) ran to win the race last year because the top four girls this year ran extremely well on a difficult course”
Haley Richardson and Sabrina Garcia worked together for most of the race and separated themselves from other runners just outside the top ten. Richardson finished in 11th and Garcia in 12th place.
“The strength of our top three girls this year helped us score well in the meet because most teams do not have a third runner place so high,” Searway noted. “Joslyn became stuck by herself further back in the field but she kept working to pass runners and moved into the top 30. Lydia continued to prove very strong on the hills and broke 23 minutes to finish as our fifth and final scoring runner. It was a great accomplishment after sitting out last season with health issues. Stephanie Bernal ran a very determined race and finished over three minutes ahead of her time from last year.”
With the performances at the Section meet, the girls and the Chavez brothers will continue training and preparing for the State Meet, scheduled at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 29.