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PREP CROSS COUNTRY

Whitney runners top Rio Americano

Wildcats’ girls make history
By: Amanda Calzada/Placer Herald Correspondent
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RANCHO CORDOVA _ For the first time in Whitney High’s history, its varsity girls cross country lineup beat Rio Americano during the second Capital Athletic League meet last week. “Jenica Dodge ran awesome and dominated the competition, as she pulled away at mile two and never looked back,” said head coach Mark Snow. Dodge won the 5,000-meter race in a time of 18:51. Megan Hall clocked 20:11 and finished fifth to help the varsity girls overcome the runner-up spot in CAL running. Freshman Jordan Sienkiewicz finished sixth at 20:34 and Ozora Cheek (20:50) finished eighth. Nicole Wellington (21:03) was 11th and Taelor Hatch (22:04) 14th. Six wildcats finished in the top 14 spots, a feat Snow called impressive. He added that Rio Americano ran without their best female runner. However, had she raced Whitney would still have won by a point. “This is a huge confidence booster for our girls who beat a team that is considered a top team in Division III and should go to the state meet,” he said. The girl’s squad now stands at 9-1 on the season. Still undefeated are the varsity boys, junior varsity girls and JV boys. The Whitney boys carried the momentum to victory despite the absence of top runner Ryan Hodgens. Hodgens is nursing a slight injury. Jacob Zufelt (15:39), Natahan Wellington (15:40) and Taylor Bradshaw (16:48) set the pace. All three finished in the top ten. Sophomore Eric Leverenz (17: 23) came in 11th. It was Leverenz first varsity race after moving up from the JV team. Nicholas Pulido (17:33), Devin Valdez (17:51), and Kent Kruetzberg (17:51) all ran personal best times to round out the varsity boy’s winning performance. JV _ Haley Ellis sprinted past the early leaders with about 200 meters to go for first place for the girls. Snow said it was her first win of what should be a successful career. Isaiah Hanna led the boys in a time of 11:51. Taylor Nguyen was a second behind at 11:52. “Whitney boys destroyed the competition here,” said Snow.