TRACY — After splitting the Valley Oak League championship with Sierra last year, East Union’s varsity boys cross country team made an early statement with its dominant effort at Eagal Lakes on Wednesday.
Led by freshman Maury Ortiz, the Lancers outpointed their intra-city rival 21-35 in head-to-head scoring.
Sierra’s streak of four straight varsity girls league titles appears to be in jeopardy. Reigning individual champion Megan Oblin lost to two runners from Oakdale, which finished with a 24-33 advantage over Sierra.
Sierra’s Jesse Hurtado, the 2017 VOL boys champion, wasn’t challenged en route to his first-place finish in 17 minutes, 37.2 seconds on the 5,000-meter course. Kimball’s Sinjun Tran (17:56.2) was the runner-up with East Union’s Ortiz (17:59.4) and Marco Perez (18:17.6) trailing him.
Weston Ranch junior Brian Arevalo (18:46.0), an all-league returner, placed seventh, while East Union’s Charlie Sanders (eighth, 18:48.7) and Daniel Morales (10th, 19:06.6) rounded out the top 10 among local competitors. Four Lancers finished ahead of Sierra’s second fastest runner.
Oakdale freshman Haleigh Humble (20:55.2) and junior Kayden Legan (21:18.9) were the top varsity girls. Oblin checked in at 21:27.1 for third place and was followed by East Union’s Julia Vezaldenos (21:45.7), Manteca’s Brianna Rodriguez (22:29.6) and fellow Timberwolves Sabrina Caldwell (22:34.1) and Raiann Prieto (23:09.6).
East Union showed its depth on the boys side by going undefeated at the frosh-soph level, edging out second-place Oakdale, 27-28.
Noe Acevedo (13:37.8) and Abel Zuniga (13:50.4) took second and fourth, respectively, in the 2.1-mile race, and the Lancers got the advantage by having Jesus Velazquez, Ruben Martinez and Marco Galvan place eighth, ninth and 10th. Brian Alson took fifth overall for Sierra, while Manteca’s Aiden Moran ended up seventh.
Only Kimball was able to field a full squad for frosh-soph girls, though East Union had three finish in the top five — Amanda Perry (second, 16:54.1), Kassandra Rios (third, 17:29.5) and Jasmine Ruiz (fifth, 18:49.5).
Manteca had the only full squad for junior varsity girls, with Emilee Craighead (23:22.9) and Victoria Villalvazo (24:48.6) taking the top spots. Manteca’s JV boys narrowly lost to Oakdale 26-29 and Kimball, 27-28. Sergio Espinosa (21:20.4), Ian Mata and Emiliano Gonzalez finished 4-5-6 overall.
The second of three VOL meets takes place Oct. 3 at Tuolumne River Regional Park.
Tokay 3, Ripon 1
LODI — The Indians (7-5) nearly took Tokay (8-10) to a fifth set but fell short in the nonleague contest, 16-25, 20-25, 26-24, 22-25.
Sydney Thomason and Caryssa McKeon paced the attack with eight kills apiece, while Rachel Sausedo contributed 23 assists. Mia Van Lewen picked up 18 digs, Jordynn Russell served three aces and Alyssa Barrios turned in a pair of blocks.
Ripon returns to Trans-Valley League play next Monday at Escalon.