The final kick is near for area cross country teams.
Five varsity squads and two individuals will move on after qualifying out of the Sac-Joaquin Subsection Meet at Frogtown in Angels Camp Saturday. Up next is Friday’s SJS finale at the Willow Hill Cross Country Course in Folsom.
The top 10 teams and top 10 individuals who are not on qualifying teams advance.
Valley Oak League boys champion Manteca (229 points) and in-town rival Sierra (263) finished ninth and 10th, respectively, in the Division-III race. East Union (655) placed 22nd out of 25.
Sierra’s Ricky Morris clocked the best time among Manteca-area runners at 16 minutes, 57 seconds — good for 19th place. Philip Herrera (25th, 17:03) paced Manteca.
Kelly Paredes (29th, 21:01) and Francis Scherry (37th, 21:30) led the Sierra girls to ninth place with 248 points. Manteca (366) ended up 14th, but two Buffaloes qualify as individuals — Harleen Pabla (34th, 21:21) and Claudia Aguilar (47th, 21:42). East Union finished 16th (426) out of 20.
Both of Ripon’s teams fared well in Division IV. The Lady Indians placed third (124) got good efforts from Bekah Brown (11th, 20:37), Ana Hermosillo (16th, 20:51) and Alexis Keylon (21:21). Ryan Torres (seventh, 17:19) helped the defending section champion boys take third with 123 points.
Friday’s section meet is the final stop for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships. The top three boys and girls Division-III and boys Division-IV teams will head to the state meet in Fresno Nov. 26. The section will only take two girls squads in Division IV and up to five individuals in each race can qualify for state.
The top six teams and best 10 individuals not on qualifying teams in the junior varsity, freshman boys, sophomore boys and frosh-soph girls races advance.
Two Manteca area harriers earned subsection titles, as Manteca’s Derek Benson won the junior varsity boys Divisions III-V event and Weston Ranch’s Brendon Curtright topped the field in sophomore boys Division IV. Sierra’s Aaron Mackey (ninth, D3 soph. boys) and Jose Mejia (10th, JV) of Manteca were also top-10 finishers.
The top performing girls from the area were Sierra’s Elizabeth Ma (eighth, JV), Manteca’s Blake Lamoreaux (12th, D3 frosh-soph) and Weston Ranch’s Fattima Momini (12th, D4 frosh-soph).
Teams qualifying for the section finals are: Manteca’s JV boys and freshman boys; Ripon’s sophomore boys, freshman boys and frosh-soph girls, Sierra’s JV boys and Weston Ranch’s sophomore boys.