The East Union boys and Ripon girls cross country teams will get to defend their titles in the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships later this week.
They qualified via the SJS Sub-Section meet this past Saturday at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds. The top 10 teams and top 10 individuals not part of qualifying teams make it to the Section final.
Leading the way for East Union in the Division III were Cooper Freeman and Evan Cooper, who earned top-25 medals. Freeman took third in 16 minutes, 19.2 seconds, and Cooper was 16th. The Lancers placed eighth as a team.
Ripon’s girls took fourth in Division IV and had three top-25 medalists in Annie Wild (sixth, 20:10.8), Jenna Skavdahl (11th) and Malia Locarnini (13th). Omar Alsaidi paced the Ripon boys team’s ninth-place finish, taking ninth individually in 16:27.1.
Qualifying for the Section Championships in Division III girls are Manteca’s Sienna Jones (10th, 20:07.1) and East Union’s April Duarte (28th, 21:42). Maya De Jong of Ripon Christian took 17th in Division V girls.
Six teams and 10 individuals in all lower-level races advance to the Section final, with the top 20 earning Sub-Section medals.
Ripon Christian won the frosh-soph girls race at Division V behind Addison De Jong’s runner-up effort. Fellow Knights Ava Amirhamzeh (fifth), Lilyanna Goodwin (eighth), Kate Vander Veen (17th) and Sydney Reyes (20th) also earned top-20 medals.
Three of the top five placers in Division III frosh-soph girls were local runners: East Union’s Jarely Ortiz (second), Sierra’s Kiana Kutch (third) and Manteca’s Jordyn Hegarty (fifth). Paulina Villarreal came in 18th, leading Lathrop to a third-place team finish.
Sierra’s frosh-soph boys team has four medalists in Ernesto Pacheco (10th), Brady Alves (15th), Samuel Mortenson (18th) and James Danley (19th).
Lathrop’s sophomore boys took fifth behind Nathaniel Puck (seventh) and Miguel Gonzales (16th). Mallory Govia (fifth) led Ripon to fifth place in Division IV frosh-soph girls. Ripon’s James Wilkins (12th, D-IV boys) and Ripon Christian’s Hyeong Lee (15th, D-V boys) also won medals.
The Section Championships take place this upcoming Saturday at Willow Hill Reservoir in Folsom.