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Rival distance runners named top senior athletes

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Davina Bennett excelled in volleyball, basketball and swimming at Manteca High.

Bulletin file photo /

POSTED June 16, 2010 2:35 a.m.
John Bowers and Vincent Herrera were the area’s top high school distance runners this past year.

They’re also considered the top all-around athletes in their class for their respective schools.

Bowers (cross country, track) earned Sierra High’s All-Around Male Senior Athlete Award, while Jena Anderson (tennis, track) was named the top female.

Herrera (soccer, basketball, track) was paired with three-sport standout Davina Bennett (volleyball, basketball, swimming) for Manteca High’s highest athletic honor.

Bowers was named the Bulletin’s All-Area Male Cross Country Runner of the Year in the fall after qualifying for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships. He led the Timberwolves to their first Valley Oak League championship since 2004 and placed fifth in the Sac-Joaquin Subsection Meet and seventh at sections for a state berth.

In the spring, Bowers helped the track team win titles in the VOL and Sac-Joaquin Section Division III meets. He won the 3,200-meter race and was second in mile during the VOL Championships. At the D-III meet, he took third in both events and advanced to the Masters meet.

Anderson also made it as far as the Masters track meet, placing third in the VOL triple jump and sixth at divisionals. But her crowning achievement came in the fall when she and junior Stephanie Vanni went 32-0 to win the VOL Doubles Tournament championship.

Herrera was selected to the all-VOL first team as a defender on Manteca’s soccer team and helped the basketball team capture its second straight conference title as a 6-foot-3 reserve forward.

He shined in the spring in his first-ever shot at track. After winning the 800 and 1,600 in league, Herrera won the mile at divisionals, took third at Masters and was the area’s lone qualifier for the state meet.

Bennett earned all-VOL first-team recognition as a setter for the Buffaloes’ volleyball team and made the all-defensive team in basketball. She wrapped up a solid swim career this past spring with a berth to the section finals and was one of just three females from the area to do so as a varsity competitor.

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