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Running Strong Riverbank Varsity Girls Cruise To Division IV Title
Gina Retana (knee) and Erica Orellana (illness) were both missing from the varsity lineup, but Riverbank High's girls cross country team still edged host Bret Harte by two team points to claim a Division IV title on Saturday at the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section championships in Angels Camp.

The girls will join a full cast of Bruin varsity boys, frosh/soph girls and two freshman boys at Saturday's SJS Championships in Folsom.

"I didn't have them run hard, and they still won," Riverbank coach Monte Wood said. "Both varsity teams have a good chance to qualify to state."

Four Riverbank girls finished in the top 26 on Saturday, including junior Adriana Rosales (15th overall) and first-year sensation Mikayla Florez (16th), who was the only freshman to finish in the top 20. Bruin junior Jackie Herrera was also 20th in race scoring, while Jocelyn Rosales ended 26th.

The varsity boys also qualified to the SJS finals, and saw a huge race from No. 2 overall finisher Ben Hodges, who was just nine seconds off the lead. Hodges' stellar time led Riverbank to a fifth place overall finish. Freshmen Luis Figueroa and Adrian Salazar added a pair of sharp times in the varsity race as well.

Kaitlin Jimenez and Denisse Zamora both medaled in the frosh/soph race, leading the young Lady Bruins to runner-up honors in the event.

Omar Flores and Joel Carillo also ran well in the freshman boys race to qualify for Saturday.

"For the most part, we are injury free," coach Wood said. "Gina could have run but I want her fresh for next week. Erica is getting healthy so we should be okay."

The top three Division IV teams and top five individuals (as long as they place in the top 14 overall) will advance to the Nov. 27 state championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.