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Ruvalcaba, Bernal Run Strong In State, USATF Competitions


Riverbank’s Kim Ruvalcaba came up against some extremely tough competition on Saturday, running in Fresno at the State Cross Country Meet.

“The Division four race was blistering this year,” said Riverbank cross country coach Monte Wood. “Kim ran 18:35 which would have placed her in the top 10 of every division four race in history except 2011. That year she would have placed 11th. This year 18:35 placed her 22nd in the race.”

The division four times were almost as good as the division three times, Wood added of the Nov. 28 event.

“It was an amazingly fast race. She ran 19:23 last year, so she took nearly a minute off her personal record,” the coach noted. “Her time is now the ninth fastest time at Woodward Park by a Stanislaus County runner and the seventh fastest girl.”

Maritza Garcia of Riverbank and Becky Hobby of Hughson ran faster than her twice on the course, Wood said.

“I am really proud of the way she finished the season. I know she was bummed that she couldn’t run with her teammates, but she pushed forward in the two weeks between the section race and the state race and finished strong,” her coach added. “We aren’t quite sure what she is going to do next year, but I think she is going to have even more colleges knocking on her door after Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Lady Bruin Stephanie Bernal – who missed qualifying for the State Meet by one spot – continued her season on Sunday, Nov. 30 by running in the Pacific Association USATF Cross Country Regional Championship.

“The race took place at Woodward Park in Fresno the day after the state meet. She won her division and ran a personal record of 19:59,” Wood explained. “She had been shooting for sub 20 all year long and finally got it Sunday.”

By winning the race, Bernal qualified to run in the USATF National Junior Cross Country Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“She hasn’t decided yet if she is going to make the trip, but it is a possibility that Riverbank cross country may not be done with the season yet,” Wood said.