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Ripon boys finish 21st at state meet
Bettencourt first RHS girl to compete at state
Ryan Torres led the Ripon High boys to a 21st place finish in the Division IV State Cross Country Championships Saturday in Fresno. - photo by Bulletin file photo

FRESNO – The 2010 CIF State Cross Country Championships Saturday marked several firsts for the Ripon High program.

It was the first time that the Indians as a team qualified for the 5,000-kilometer event consisting of thousands competitors at Fresno’s historic Woodward Park.

Jessica Bettencourt was the first girl runner from the school to make it to state. With near-freezing conditions in the low 40s, she finished 113th out of over 200 runners, clocking 20 minutes, 50 seconds in the girls Division IV.
In boys Division IV, the Ryan Torres-led Ripon boys took 21st out of 24 schools. “Not quite the finish we had hoped,” said Indians coach Paul Calkins.

San Rafael took first, followed by Harvard-West Lake and Stevenson, respectively.

Torres, who is a sophomore, was okay on finishing in the middle of the pack. He took 99th out of 204 runners with a time of 17:17.

“I was looking to finish in the 16s,” said Torres, who admitted to being nervous and intimidated at the outset of the race.

He plans to use the experience of his first-ever state meet to prepare for next year’s event. “It’s my incentive to train harder,” Torres added.

He also set a personal goal of finishing in the top 50.

Calkins is hoping that his otherwise young squad – Ripon has three seniors, including Victor Serrano (17:40), who had the second-best time on the team while finishing 122nd overall – can improve five slots come next year.

“I’d really like to see us among the top 15,” he said.

Calkins described the Woodward Park running route as “technical,” indicating the strategic placement of hills and flat land along the way, thus, making for a fast course.

Junior Jordan Gibson (17:53 / 136th place), sophomore Jesus Hermosillo (18:12 / 158th place), junior Christian Plata (18:51 / 181st place), senior Brandon Petraitis (19:20 / 198th place) and senior Jake Turner (19:21 / 200th place) rounded out the state competitors for the Indians.

Branson 3, Ripon Christian 0
In Ross, the No. 4-seeded Knights (28-8) were eliminated from CIF State NorCal Championships contention by the defending Division V state titlist.

Senior Michelle Terpstra had eight kills for RC.

Top-seeded Branson (31-7) will next face Hamilton Union, which swept Crystal Springs-Uplands Saturday, in the NorCal finals on Tuesday.