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Bowers’ seventh place finish good for State meet berth

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POSTED November 15, 2009 2:18 a.m.
FOLSOM – Those who were running in the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country meet had already outlasted most of the high school distance runners, but that was not enough for Sierra High senior John Bowers who extended his season with a berth in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Bowers raced to a seventh place overall finish with a time of 17:10 over the hilly course, taking his distance career to new heights with the impressive accomplishment.

“He is the cream of the crop,” Sierra head coach Anthony Chapman said of Bowers. “He works his tail off day in and day out. This is his third section meet and last year he was really close to qualifying but was a couple places off.

“This year he finally made it through.”

Sophomore Ricky Morris put together a solid meet, finishing ninth overall with a time of 17:24, while teammate Kyle Furtado came in seconds behind him with a 18:01 finish. Andrew Gulbronson finished 41st overall with a time of 18:39 and Miguel Velasquez finished the course in 18:47.

Morris’ time was just beyond the cut, giving the Timberwolves’ likely new leader something to work towards over his final two seasons at Sierra.

“Ricky was just one place off of qualifying for the state meet,” Chapman said. “He missed it by just four seconds and he’s only a sophomore. He’s going to be the leader of our squad. We have a very young squad, but we also have some leadership with experience at the post season level.”

Sierra also saw its JV girls and frosh-soph boys team wrap up their seasons with third place finishes overall at the meet. Johnny Payan led the squad with a sixth place finish in 12:17 and teammate Thomas Trzcinski came in behind him in ninth place with a time of 13:05.

Mike Leland (13:11), James Greer (13:21) and Jonathan Velasquez (13:51) rounded out the Sierra top-5.

The girls team was paced by Megan Viduya who closed out the course in 24:17, while teammate Nicole England raced to a 24:41 finish. Shawnee Justis (25:24), Kim Raines (25:35) and Jasmine Vargas (26:08) made up the Timberwolves’ top girls performances.

— Jagada Chambers
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