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Manteca boys take large-school title at invite
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Manteca High’s cross country program had a strong showing in the Bret Harte Frogtown Invitational at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp this past Saturday.

The varsity boys led the way with a first-place finish in the large-schools division, while the Lady Buffaloes took fifth out of 24.

In the small-schools division, Ripon’s girls contingent finished third, and the boys ended up fourth.

The Manteca boys relied on a solid team effort to capture the meet title, as none of their runners placed in the top 10. Phillip Herrera (17:49) and Brandon Galan (17:44) spearheaded the squad with 14th- and 15th-place finishes. Martin Ponce (23rd, 18:15), Marcus Avila (30th, 18:26) and Derek Benson (33rd, 18:30) also contributed.

The Buffaloes beat out Division-I Lodi by five points with 115. There were 227 competitors representing 33 schools in what was the largest field of the invitational.

Manteca’s girls totaled 173 points while champion McClatchy, which had two top-seven placers, turned in 118. Scoring for Manteca were Doan Bien (21st, 22:31), Harleen Pabla (28th, 22:58), Esmeralda Cuenca (31st, 23:07), Tatiana Jimenez (46th, 24:00) and Claudia Aguilar (47th, 24:01).

Ripon’s boys got to see some of its top competition in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV ranks. The Indians aim to reach the state meet for a third straight year but found out firsthand Saturday that it won’t come easily.

The Indians, who were paced by third-place Ryan Torres (17:26), checked in with 100 points, while section rivals Dixon (69) and Livingston (87) took first and third, respectively. Joining Torres were Alec Steinberg (18th, 18:32), Antonio Pelaez (23rd, 19:00), Kyle Bailey (24th, 19:01) and Alex Norling (32nd, 19:11).

Jessica Carmona finished seventh in 22:09 for Ripon’s girls, whose 100 points trailed runner-up Dixon (96) and first-place Amador (88). Alexis Keylon (10th, 22:39), Analisa Rangel (24th, 23:36), Ana Hermosillo (25th, 23:37) and Ellie Waters (34th, 24:00) also factored into the scoring.