Runners in Riverbank have extended their season.
The varsity boys and girls varsity cross country teams qualified to the section meet with a solid effort at Angels Camp on Saturday.
“Since the subsection meet is just a qualifying meet, we tell our runners to run hard enough to qualify,” said head coach Monte Wood. “The subsection and section courses are really difficult, and it is hard physically and mentally to race back to back weekends on hard courses. We have the luxury of not only not running hard but also sitting a few runners to have them fresh for the section meet.”
The Bruins sat Diego Ruiz from the boys team and Lydia Hodges and Elitania Rosas from the girls team.
“All three of them have some lingering injuries, and we want them fresh for this Saturday,” Wood said of holding them out to gain strength for the Section competition.
For the varsity boys at the subsections, Ruben Paredez medaled and the team qualified eighth.
“If we had run Diego, we would have been fourth,” noted Wood. “The boys didn’t run hard, and we feel confident that they can make a run at a qualifying spot for the state meet.”
The girls qualified sixth without two of their top five runners, Hodges and Rosas.
“Kim Ruvalcaba and Stephanie Bernal both finished in the top 10 and medaled. They looked really good,” explained Wood. “While many of the runners came across the finish lined gassed and barely able to walk, Kim and Stephanie came across relaxed and even helped the other runners take the chips off of their shoes, even some of the runners that finished ahead of them.”
Other runners also had strong efforts, said Wood.
“Alondra Hernandez continues to improve and looked really good. Diana Herrera was put into the varsity race due to Elitania’s knee pain, and I felt she ran her best race of the year,” the coach said. “She hung tight with Joslyn (Beliera) and Alondra and was tough in the hills. I was really proud of her performance.”
Alysia Beecroft qualified individually for the frosh/soph girls.
“She ran a great race and really went after it. She is tough and competitive. She has a lot of good qualities that could make her a really good distance runner if she sticks with it,” said Wood.
Sophomore Carlos Aguilera and Zac Richison qualified in the frosh-soph boys race.
“Zac was the last qualifier by less than a second,” Wood noted. “His strong kick at the end was the difference.”
The Section meet is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14 in Folsom.