FOLSOM – The Ripon boys won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV cross country banner Saturday at Willow Hill and will be joined by Ricky Morris of Sierra and Jessica Bettencourt of the Ripon girls team at the California State Cross Country Championships in Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 27.
Ripon’s Ryan Torres finished fourth with a time of 17 minutes, 34 seconds. Teammates Jordan Gibson (17:49), Alec Steinberg (17.52) and Victor Serrano (17:59) finished seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, and Christian Plata (18:20) was 17th.
“I had a cramp at the beginning but then I started getting ahead of people,” Torres said. “Toward the end of the race I really booked it and passed a few guys because my dad was hollering at me that there were guys right behind me.”
It was the first-ever section banner for Ripon.
“The guys set up and did exactly what we wanted them to do,” Ripon coach Paul Calkins said. “They packed well with only about 15 seconds between our first- and fourth-place finishers which makes us a really tough team to beat.
“I never know who is going to finish first for us. A lot of kids turned in PRs for us today.”
Bettencourt finished sixth with a time of 20:43 – her team finished fifth overall – and teammate Ana Hermesillo was 32nd (22:04).
Morris finished fourth in Division III (16:48).
“I felt great and I took it a little fast at the beginning,” Morris said “This time beat my previous best on this course by 8 seconds.”
Sierra finished fifth with Miguel Velazquez finishing 28th (17:58) and Kyle Furtado 42nd (18:35). Manteca’s Tim Baker was 22nd (17:45).
“The boys finished fifth, and we feel really good about that,” Sierra coach Mike Rosendin said. “They stuck their nose in it and got after it. They ran with some heart out there.
“Ricky Morris finished fourth and will be heading to state and we are really proud of him. He is definitely keeping the tradition of good Sierra distance runners going and he is just a junior. We look forward to taking him to the state meet and competing against California’s best.”
Francis Scherry led Sierra to an eighth-place, finishing 20th (21:00). Teammate Kelly Parades was 39th (22:12) and Katelyn Carbiener 43rd (22:15).
“We have to feel good about the varsity girls finishing eighth,” Rosendin said. “To put it in perspective, we didn’t even have a girl qualify for the sections last year. So for the whole team to be here is a good starting point for the future.”
In the junior varsity Division III-IV-V race, Sierra finished third in the boys with Nikolas Dotson finishing eighth (19:36) and Ripon’s Nick Ratto 10th (19:40). Sierra’s Genevieve Millin was eighth (25:13) and teammate Jasmine Vargas 12th (26:02) in the girls race and Andrea Moreno of Ripon was 15th (27:02).
The Sierra sophomore boys were third in Division III with Josh Spooner finishing eighth (13:43), Jeremy Coronado ninth (13:45) and Jacob Supinger 11th (13:46). Martin Fonce of Manteca was 23rd (14:08).
Skyler Cordero of Ripon was fifth (13:00) and teammate Corey Goodwin 12th (13:32) in leading Ripon to a fourth-place finish in sophomore Division IV. Manteca’s Gabriella Vazquez was 15th (15:58) in frosh/soph girls Division III and Ripon’s Sony Keo 18th (16:05) in frosh/soph girls Division IV girls.
Weston Ranch was fourth in freshman boys Division III with Brendon Curtright finishing third (12:20) and teammate Alex Delinila finishing 11th (13:16).