Fast freshman takes top spot in SFL cross country

Woodcreek takes boys and girls team titles
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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As illness continues to impact high school sporting events nationwide, it was cross country’s turn to go short-handed Wednesday in Grass Valley. The Sierra Foothill League harriers gathered at Nevada Union in perfect running conditions for their second league meet of the season, but each school was missing key runners who are fighting the flu bug. “All the schools were dealing with top runners out sick,” said Woodcreek coach Terri McKillop, “but overall it was a great meet.” Unaffected was Oakmont freshman Karlie Garcia, who outran Granite Bay junior Brooke Holt in a reversal of the top two spots from the first league meet. The first-year Viking took the lead about ½-mile in and never looked back, finishing in 18:17, more than 30 seconds ahead of Holt for the girls title. Despite the absence of one of its top runners, Ashley DeVriend, Woodcreek placed four girls in the top 10 to claim the varsity girls team title. Courtney Crosta finished third to lead the Timberwolves, while Stephanie Romo (fifth), Sami Gomez (sixth) and Nicole Krsulic (10th) were also in that group. “Our girls ran strong despite missing Ashley Devriend,” McKillop said, “with four finishing in the top 10 and Ciara Donnelly taking 15th to round out the scoring for the girls.” Christine Zavesky (fourth) joined Holt to represent Granite Bay in the top five, and the Grizzlies finished third in the team standings, followed by Oakmont in fourth. “The flu bug is hitting our team much like everyone else,” said Oakmont coach Ryan Nugent. “We were without senior Kristine Lozoya, our No. 2 runner, and Kendra Sheppard, our No. 4 runner. Sophomore Nyralee Chhotu ran as a solid No. 2 in Lozoya's absence and sophomore Amanda Haack had her best race of the season thus far as our No. 3 girl.” Roseville’s Shayna Powless finished seventh in the girls race. While Tyler Raposa, who crossed the line second, was the only Woodcreek runner in the boys top 10, the Timberwolves dominated the second 10 and that was enough to give them the top spot in the boys team race. Gurp Mann (11th), Karl Schmidt (12th), Angelo Ciaraglia (13th), Brandon Biando (14th) and Hunter Tyler (15th) filled out the top six Woodcreek runners enough to allow the team to edge out Rocklin, who had three in the top 10. As a bonus, Austin Mason of Woodcreek finished 18th, though his result was not counted in the team number, which only uses a team’s top six finishers. Led by Edixon Puglisi, who finished third and a ninth place run by Luis Mora, Oakmont captured the No. 4 position on the boys side as well, running without its usual No. 4 and No. 5 competitors. FYI: Results from SFL meet No. 2: Team standings Varsity girls: Woodcreek 37, Del Oro 48, Granite Bay 84, Oakmont 107, Rocklin 119, Nevada Union 123 Varsity boys: Woodcreek 52, Rocklin 58, Nevada Union 66, Oakmont 97, Del Oro 118, Granite Bay 153 Top 10 girls: 1. Karlie Garcia, Oakmont, 18:17 2. Brooke Holt, GB, 18:49.25 3. Courtney Crosta, WC, 18:49.86 4. Christine Zavesky, GB, 19:21 5. Stephanie Romo, WC, 19:30 6. Sami Gomez, WC, 19:33 7. Shayna Powless, Roseville, 19:56 8. Emma Freeman, DO, 19:58 9. Alissa Hood, DO, 20:10 10. Nicole Krsulic, WC 20:16 Top 10 boys: 1. Steven White, Rocklin, 16:39 2. Tyler Raposa, WC, 16:44 3. Edixon Puglisi, Oakmont, 16:59 4. Scott Valentine, NU, 17:02 5. Parker Ahlf, Rocklin, 17:16 6. Cassidy Bertsch, GB, 17:18 7. Cody Fikes, Rocklin, 17:28 8. Nick Degoinse, DO, 17:26 9. Luis Mora, Oak, 17: 34 10. Lambert, NU, 17:34 This weekend: The eyes of the cross country world will be on Clovis Saturday for one of the most prestigious regular season cross country events to come along each season. Most of the top runners in the state will be there for a little preview of things to come in the state meet. Woodcreek coach Terri McKillop on the Clovis Invitational: “As for Clovis, we are looking forward to a good meet. The girls will once again be stepping out of the Division II race and competing in the championship division. We are hoping to have Ashley DeVriend back by Saturday.” Oakmont coach Ryan Nugent on the Clovis Invitational: “Clovis will depend some on who makes the trip. Kristine Lozoya will not race because she will be taking the SAT on Saturday. Assuming we don't lose anyone else to illness, I expect us to show well. Our goal in every meet is to improve. So far this season we've improved as a team every week. We can't control what other schools do, or who they have. All we can do is work to get better. This team is doing that and I'm very proud of them thus far.”