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Leaders Of The Pack Bruins Aiming To Dominate Track And Field Again
Maybe national champion German Fernandez left behind a little magic dust or maybe Riverbank athletes train for track and field events as soon as they are old enough to walk.

Either way, the Bruin program has accumulated an impressive history of success and 2010 is no exception.

The team has placed high in each of its preseason competitions, and heads into Trans-Valley League action with an impressive repertoire of competitors in nearly every girls and boys event.

All signs point toward another TVL title for both genders, despite a healthy dose of talent from opposing Division III teams.

"It will be a battle to win the TVL," Riverbank coach Monte Wood said. "Escalon is very strong and has athletes in every event on both the boys and girls teams. Ripon's girls are much better and will challenge for the team title. Hughson has a young talented boys team.

"The TVL will produce some exciting drama during track this year."

On Saturday, Riverbank boys took the small school title at the Brenda Athletics Invitational at CSU Stanislaus. Riverbank's varsity girls took third with an incomplete team in attendance while a small junior varsity boys unit finished second.

Jose Moreno hurled an impressive 50 feet, 8 inches to win the shot put and was second in the discus at 138 feet. Alex Reyes won both 1600 and the 3200-meter distance races after huge personal record of 4 minutes, 32 seconds (1600) and 9:51 (3200). Robert Martinez won the high jump at 5-2 and was second in both the long and triple jump.

Jade Finch paced the Riverbank girls by placing top-six in the 400 relay, long jump, 100 and 200.

Finch joins a deep cast of girls with TVL title opportunities. Cross Country standout Lizzie Uscanga and speedy teammates Genisa Contreras and Adriana Rosales should all compete for top TVL honors as well.

On the boys' side, Wood has some nurturing plans in the jump pits with first-year track standout, Martinez, and high-flying basketball standout, Zack Gonzales.

The two will join Reyes, Moreno, Casey DeYoung, Christian Vega, Jorge Gomez and Christian Contreras for a series of events and relays that opposing D-III programs will struggle to match. The boys were undefeated in TVL action last year, and hope to snare the same honor in 2010.

Last year Riverbank was fifth (boys) and 20th (girls) among teams from six different leagues at the D-III championships.

Riverbank athletes will test their skills against visiting Escalon next Wednesday, March 31, at 3:30 p.m. in a big TVL opener. The Cougars were third (boys) and fifth (girls) among small school programs at the Brenda Invitational and should see some quality marks from a deep cast of competitors.