Three-time defending champion East Union is now chasing Oakdale in the race for the Valley Oak League boys cross country title.
The league held the first of its three meets Wednesday at Mistlin Sports Complex in Ripon, and it was the Mustangs of Oakdale who dominated the opener by putting their five scorers in the top seven. East Union, led by individual runner-up Cooper Freeman, finished with 51 points to Oakdale’s 22. Central Catholic (71) and Kimball (96) were the only other schools to field full varsity boys teams.
Manteca sophomore Sienna Jones was the standout for varsity girls from the area, as she placed second. Oakdale (16) and Central Catholic (47) were the only schools with complete varsity girls teams.
Oakdale’s Caleb Cavanaugh held off Cooper to win the 5,000-meter boys race in 17 minutes, 22.1 seconds. Cooper checked in at 17:26.2, and Oakdale’s Dax Daley (17:28.8) rounded out the top three.
East Union’s scoring five included Evan Cooper (eighth, 19:08.2), Johnny Sandoval (12th, 19:44.0), Maury Ortiz (17th, 20:09.4) and Juan Cortes (19th, 20:47.6).
Brendan Alson (11th, 19:32.8) and Nicholas Corona Velazquez (13th, 19:46.4) led Sierra.
In varsity girls, Oakdale’s Haleigh Humble dominated the field and crossed the finish in 19:34.0. Jones followed in 21:23.9 with the Oakdale tandem of Kassidy Fmura (22:33.7) and Morgan Merzon (22:33.9) close behind. East Union’s Linda Medrano (22:44.1) came in fifth.
Also competing for EU were Gisel Velazquez (12th, 26:30.8), Taylor Snaer (15th, 27:31.0) and Ruth Okeanya (17th, 28:14.6). Manteca’s Addisyn Allen (27:47.6) took 16th, and Weston Ranch’s Janiah Basco (29:08.7) was 20th.
Sierra showed well at the frosh-soph level, winning the 2-mile boys competition with 27 points. Tristan Crowe was the individual winner in 12:37.0 with teammates Brady Alves, Ernesto Pacheco and Ryan West finishing 4-5-6. Aiden Both of Manteca took seventh.
Sierra’s Kiana Kutch was the top frosh-soph girls runner in 14:45.4. Manteca’s Jordyn Hegarty finished in third, East Union’s Mackenzie Weber in sixth and Sierra’s Harleen Kaur in seventh.
The next VOL meet is scheduled for Oct. 2 at Eagal Lakes in Tracy.
Ripon Christian 3, Delhi 0
Emily Van Groningen was perfect on the attack for Ripon Christian (5-0 Southern Athletic League, 20-3 overall), as she rung up 10 kills on 10 hitting attempts. The Knights rolled to a 25-5, 25-8, 25-7 sweep on the road.
Mercy Lara and Jenna Hofman split setting duties, ending with 19 and 10 assists respectively. Avery McMurray amassed 11 aces. Ava Van Groningen led the defense with four digs, while Ellie Dyt and Kristen Van Elderen had three each.
Manteca 3, Weston Ranch 0
The Valley Oak League’s top club picked up a 25-9, 25-9, 25-21 win on the road.
Adrianna Powell led the Buffaloes (5-0, 14-0) with nine kills and four aces. Abbey Kadillak tallied 20 digs and four aces. Arielle Chandler distributed 21 assists. Karlie Spohn (six kills), Kimberly Yu (six digs, three aces) and Izabella Sanchez (four kills, two blocks) were other standouts.
Lathrop 3, Los Banos 1
The Spartans (5-1, 9-4 overall) staved off visiting Los Banos 23-25, 25-15, 25-19, 26-24 in a pivotal Western Athletic Conference match that keeps them a match back of first-place Beyer.
Alaba Olaleye came through with 14 kills, while Krystle Sakay doled out 11 kills to go with 10 digs and three aces. Sydney Hanks contributed nine kills, two aces and three blocks. Hailey Grant had eight kills and six digs.
Lilliana Avila registered 14 digs. Camila De La Garza tallied 41 assists and 11 digs. LaNicia Ellis chipped in three blocks along with four kills.
Lathrop 2, Los Banos 0
Lathrop dominated from the service line in the 25-9, 25-18 sweep.
Julia Roaquin collected eight services aces and 10 assists. Janessa Ward fired seven aces. Elizabeth Andrade collected five kills, four aces and four digs.
Los Banos 2, Lathrop 0
The visiting Tigers escaped with a 25-22, 25-20 victory.
Leading Lathrop was Annie Millan with four aces and two kills. Sara Valadez added three aces, two kills and a solo block. Alyssa Roller handed out six assists and served three aces.