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Sierra stuns Sonora for share of championships

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Sierra High's Amber Parker, left and Katelyn Carbiener finished sixth and fifth, respectively, to lead the Timberwolves to a share of the Valley Oak League championship in the final conference meet...


POSTED October 29, 2009 2:00 a.m.
MODESTO — Ceres High’s Alejandro rambled through the finish line well ahead of Sierra standout John Bowers to win the Valley Oak League Championships individual boys title at Legion Park Wednesday.

Bowers had little time to mull over his runner-up finish, for there was work still left to be done.

“I took a second of nearly passing out, and I came back to the finish line to cheer everybody on,” Bowers said.

One by one, his fellow Timberwolves filed in. And with the race still not completed, Sierra began to celebrate.

Sierra’s boys team joined the girls in earning a share of the league title, marking the third time in program history that the Timberwolves swept both varsity races. The last time both contingents won a championship was in 2004.

The boys claimed their fourth title, and it’s No. 6 for the ladies.

“It would have been nice to beat (Garcia), but we’ve waited for years to get the championship,” said Bowers, whose time of 16 minutes, 44 seconds was 12 seconds slower than the leader. “I can’t be too upset about him winning.”

Both of Sierra’s boys and girls teams needed to beat Sonora after getting edged out by the Wildcats in the two dual-scored meets in the regular season. Sonora needed to win Wednesday for the outright championship.

Sonora’s girls, led by individual champion Lizzie Grolle, occupied the race’s top four places but were outscored 37-45 by the deeper Timberwolves. Sierra’s boys beat Sonora, 29-40.

 “We knew it was going to be a crapshoot,” Sierra coach Anthony Chapman said. “To get it done in this fashion is real exciting for our kids. They trained real hard for this, and we preach all year long about peeking at the end.”

Both Sierra teams had three top-seven finishers who captured all-league honors. Joining Bowers were Ricky Morris (fourth) and Kyle Furtado (sixth). Jonathan Scherry (eighth) and Christian Virrueta (ninth) also cracked the top 10, and Chapman said they were the difference makers with Sonora’s final two scorers taking 11th and 14th.

“We know that our top two are strong, but it’s our back end that needs to get into Sonora’s top five,” Chapman said. “We were not in a real good position (going into the final mile), but our kids made a couple of moves. From there, I started screaming like a little girl.”

Katelyn Carbiener, Amber Parker and Analisa Honour went 5-6-7 for Sierra’s girls team. Jessica Montiel and Francis Scherry rounded out the top 10.

East Union’s Alejandra Alvarez was the only other area runner to finish in the top 10, as she placed eighth.

Up next is the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section meet Nov. 7 at Frogtown in Angels Camp.
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