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Freeman, Jones, Wild qualify for state cross country meet
Bulletin sports fall 2021
East Union's Cooper Freeman (763) finished third in the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships Division III race Saturday in Folsom and qualified for the state meet. - photo by Dave Campbell

FOLSOM — East Union’s Cooper Freeman finished third on Saturday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Boys Cross Country Championships at Willow Hill and will be joined on Saturday, November 27, by Ripon’s Annie Wild and Manteca’s Sienna Jones in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Freeman covered the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 31.2 seconds and led the Lancers (Evan Cooper, 17:16.9, 13th; Maury Ortiz, 18:40.3, 31st; Johnny Sandoval, 19:10.5, 50th; Juan Cortes, 19:52.1, 58th) to a sixth-place team finish.

“It’s too bad the team didn’t make it with me,” Freeman said. “But I’m going for the course record at the state championships in Fresno.

“I’ve been talking with the Chico state coach and I hope to put my high school experience to good use in college.”

Wild finished sixth (19:53.0) in Division IV with the Indians (Jenna Skavdahl, 20:47.7, 11th; Malia Locarnini, 20:48.8, 12th; Alyson Harvey, 22:32.4, 34th; Joselin Figueroa, 24:24.2, 50th) finishing fifth.  

“I really pushed myself and I really wanted to leave it all out there on the course, to run my heart out,” Wild said. “I really trusted in God that I could make it all the way.

“I raced here two years ago when I was a freshman. This race was a minute faster and I am so ecstatic about that.”

Jones finished 11th (20:37.5) and qualified for state as the fourth individual not on the Top-3 teams and finishing in the top 14 individuals in Division III.

“I feel good,” Jones said. “I am so happy I finished strong. I definitely ran one of my best races as I cut off over a minute and a half off of my last race here. I try to go out fast so I can keep in the pack and so I don’t get cut off on the hills.”

Ripon’s Omar Alsaidi finished 10th (16:40.5) in Division IV, but unfortunately for him only the first five finishers not on the first three teams go to state and six individuals finished in front of him.

“A lot of the guys in front of me were from different teams,” Alsaidi said. “It was some stiff competition.

“I felt good the first time around but as soon as you hit the loop the second time that’s where you really win or lose.”

The Indians (Valente Hernandez, 19:29.9, 51st, Devin Fitzpatrick, 19:33.5, 53rd; Tristan Anderson, 19:44.6, 55th; Lucas Waibel, 19:56.7, 59th) finished 10th.

Ripon Christian’s Maya De Jong finished 13th (22:52.7) in Division V and in Division IV East Union’s April Duarte was 31st and Lathrop’s Taimane Lowery was 33rd (22:29.3).

The lower-levels course was 2.1 miles. The Sierra boys placed three in the Division III Top 20 – Ernesto Pacheco (eighth, 13:21.4), Brady Alves (11th, 13:29.2) and Samuel Mortenson (19th, 14:40.5).

Lathrop finished third in frosh/soph girls Division III. Paulina Villareal was 13th (18:38.7) and Belen Baca was 14th (18:38.9) for the Spartans. East Union’s Jerely Ortiz was second (14:41.8), Sierra’s Kiana Kutch third (14:49.6) and Manteca’s Jordyn Hegarty was eighth (16:02.9).

Ripon’s Mallory Govia was sixth (15:47.8) in frosh/soph girls Division IV and Ripon Christian’s Ava Amirhamzeh was ninth (18:53.4) in frosh/soph girls Division V.

Lathrop’s Miguel Gonzales was eighth (13:39.4) in sophomore boys Division III, Ripon’s James Wilkins was 13th in sophomore boys Division IV.