Cross-country runners headed to state championship

Whitney, Rocklin, Del Oro, Western Sierra all among teams to qualify
By: Nick Pecoraro
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Here is a complete briefing of Saturday’s Sac-Joaquin Section cross-country finals. Which teams and local area individuals qualified for the state championships in Fresno at Woodward Park this coming Saturday.



Division I

Jesuit won its record 27th overall section championship with junior Matt Strangio leading the way at 15:51.8 for his second straight individual section championship.

The Marauders’ 11th D-I section title is now tied for the most at the large school level with Saturday’s runner-up Davis, Sr., who was the other team to qualify from Division I.

Division II

The Whitney boys team won its first section championship Saturday, edging out Rocklin 53-58. Junior Austin Vasquez was the runner-up by less than a second to Bella Vista’s Damian King.

Rocklin’s Trevor Asbury finished third overall at 16:13.9.

Rocklin and Bella Vista also qualified as teams for the state title run in Fresno. A maximum of five individuals (not on qualifying teams) within the top 14 runners could advance to the championship meet. Granite Bay’s Joseph Kennedy and Tristan Paperno finished 13th and 14th, respectively.

Division III

Nevada Union’s Garrett Gough successfully defended his D-III individual title, beating out Del Oro’s Brayden McLaughlin by 37 seconds.

Nevada Union won its sixth overall section boys title and its first at the D-III level.

Del Oro placed fourth overall, missing out on qualifying as a team for the state championship race by one point behind Merced, but McLaughlin and Bryan Stafford (17:15.0) each individually qualified.

Vista del Lago finished second as a team and will move on.

Division IV

Placer won its 10th section championship in school history, tying it with Riverbank for the fourth most in the Sac-Joaquin history. It was the second straight title for the Hillmen at the D-IV level.

Senior Jesus Guerra-Reyes was the D-IV individual champion at 16:08.3. Connor Ryan, Jesus Carrasco, Devin Muzzy and Brendan Moley all finished within the top 20.

Christian Brothers and Calaveras were the other D-IV teams to advance to the state meet.

Division V

Capital Christian won its fourth consecutive D-V title. Waterford rounded out the two teams to advance in D-V. Junior Jaydon Spires of Tioga was crowned the D-V champ at 17:13.5.



Division I

Davis Sr. won its record 15th overall section championship, defeating Oak Ridge and Cosumnes Oaks, who had the D-I individual champ, sophomore Natalie Harper, who clocked in at 19:09.1.

Division II

Whitney missed out on its first girls cross-country section crown as St. Francis placed five runners in the top 10 to earn its 11th overall banner.

Whitney, the state-qualifying runner-up, was led by freshman Grace Lathrop, who placed ninth at 19:55.5.

Rio Americano was the third team from D-II to advance while Lincoln High’s Destiny Everett placed fourth overall at 19:19.6 to secure a spot in the state race.

Division III

Del Oro freshman Riley Chamberlain won her 10th race in 11 tries this season, this time to be crowned as the D-III Section Champion. Chamberlain checked in at 17:57.0, more than a full minute faster than runner-up Quinn Hagerman of Merced.

Del Oro as a team finished second behind Vista del Lago, who captured its sixth section title by just 11 points. Del Oro’s Hannah Wirth and Emilie Mertz also finished inside the top 10.

Nevada Union was the third team from D-III to qualify for state.

Division IV

The Placer girls team missed out on advancing to the state meet by just 16 points. Only the top two teams from D-IV move on.

Placer’s Riley Lasher, who finished ninth at 21:02.1, and Colfax’s Sierra Hagen, who placed 10th at 21:05.5, each qualify as individuals for the Nov. 24 championship meet.

Colfax finished behind Placer in the standings with 111 points.

Division V

Forest Lake Christian junior Amber Jackson dethroned two-time defending champion Sara Sabra of Western Sierra Collegiate Academy to win the D-V individual crown at 19:21.9. The win was Jackson’s fourth of the season as she gains momentum into the Nov. 24 state championship meet.

Western Sierra, however, won the team race with Sabra, Rhiannon Repetti and Hayley Repetti, Cassidy Call and Deanna Trieu all finishing inside the top 15, giving the Wolves the first cross-country section championship in school history.

Runner-up Foresthill also qualified for the state meet as a team, scoring 76 points behind Elizabeth Bradley (22:10.7), who placed sixth, and Lily Watkins (23:00.4), who finished ninth.