Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The All StanCo Teams So Far (2013 and 2014)

When my daughter began running in 2008 I quickly realized that finding race information and results for local XC meets was difficult at best. As a past runner myself, I knew first hand how hard XC runners worked. I also knew that they deserved more recognition than the local media was giving them. Fortunately I stumbled across this blog. It was created by Ruben Esparza (Runnin Ruben) and was a revelation to me. I soon became more enmeshed in the process of taking photos and posting results. At the end of each season The Bee recognizes only one male and one female XC runner (usually not even from Stanislaus County). My mission  then expanded to create an All StanCo team at the end of each season. Runnin Ruben had posted an all-county team at the end on a couple of seasons, but it hadn't been consistent from year to year. I decided that I would recognize ten males and ten females on this All StanCo Team. To make it official I bought patches to give to the team members. I perceive that the selections might sometimes be mildly controversial...I can only assure you that I take the process very seriously, and I am open to your suggestions. I feel honored to have written about and photographed some outstanding athletes.

Mario Medina 12 Gregori Kim Ruvalcaba 11 Riverbank
Adan Chavez 12 Riverbank Arielle Names 11 Downey
Daniel Yanez 11 Hughson Savannah Mendoza 11 Modesto
Orlando Cardenas 11 Modesto Sabrina Garcia 12 Riverbank
Marc Alania 11 Modesto Haley Richardson 12 Riverbank
Emmanuel Chavez 12 Riverbank Arianna Lara Chavez 9 Turlock
Anthony Arauza 12 Gragori Guadalupe Ventura 12 Patterson
justin Goering 12 Downey Madison Mays 12 Hughson
Brandon Williams 12 Modesto Haylee Osgood 11 Downey
James DeLaO 12 Modesto Esmeralda Aguayo 9 Downey
Zach Morrett 12 Hughson Mikayla Florez 12 Riverbank
Nathan Stanton 12 Patterson Savannah Mendoza 10 Modesto
Marc Alania 10 Modesto Mya Torres 10 Gregori
Mario Medina 11 Gregori Victoreya Maravilla 10 Gregori
Luis Figueroa 12 Riverbank Haley Richardson 11 Riverbank
Isaac Gonzalez 12 Pitman Sabrina Garcia 11 Riverbank
Jonathen Beliera 12 Riverbank Guadalupe Ventura 11 Patterson
Evan Moses 12 Gregori Kim Ruvalcaba 10 Riverbank
Brandon Williams 12 Modesto Lauren Stanislaw 12 Beyer
Alec Villagomez 12 Gregori Meagan Warwick 9 Modesto Christian

Saturday, November 29, 2014

2014 State Meet

The State meet wrapped up minutes ago. Representing StanCo were the RBK Lady Bruins and three individual boys (Adan and Emmanuel Chavez from Riverbank and Daniel Yanez from Hughson).

The boys (all in the D4) where first up on the undulating Woodward Park course. Adan Chavez was the fastest of the trio finishing 53rd with a time of 16:39. Just a few ticks behind was Daniel Yanez (Hughson) in 16:53 which was good for 76th place. Emmanuel Chavez (Riverbank) rounded out the StanCo competitors, finishing in 95 with a time of 17:07.

On the girls' side is was the Bruin septet competing in the D4 race. As she has all season, Kim Ruvalcaba led her teammates across the line. She placed an impressive 25th in 19:23. Behind Ruvalcaba, the senior duo of Haley Richardson (72nd  20:24) and Sabrina Garcia (80th  20:29) both ran strong races. Joslyn Beliera finished in 103rd (20:59--a 40 sec improvement over last year). Stephanie Bernal finished the scoring by placing 167th in 22:35--almost a 3 min improvement over last year's time. Lydia Hogdes was close behind (169th  22:46). Elitania Rosas was the Bruins' final finisher in 24:29 for 188th.

As a team they finished 13th out of 23 teams (1 pt out of 12th)


Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 All StanCo Boys' Team

Let me restate that the mission of this blog is to give the hard-working distance runners of Stanislaus County the recognition they richly deserve. Given that XC is both and individual and a team sport, I have tabulated the top five male and female teams and the top ten male and female individuals. Tonight's post will include the All StanCo boys' team. I have spent all Fall attending meets, photographing the runners, and writing up the results in this blog. Even with all of those hours under my belt, this list of ten boys was not an easy one to finalize. I started with a list of about 20 runners. After the SubSect meet the order changed. After the Section meet it changed again. Some runners seemed to be clear choices. Others I tried to compared head to head to head. I AGONIZED. I listed, erased, and checked results again, AND AGAIN. As I stated previously, it is an impure science. I questioned how much should one meet be worth...What about the athletes who didn't run varsity all season...the choices were all tough ones as maybe 15 runners were vying in my head for ten spots. Ultimately I decided that if a runner didn't run (varsity) all season, that put him a step behind those who did. It was a tough call (one you might not understand or agree with), but it was a major piece of the puzzle and the decisions as to who did and did not make the list.

Please feel free to share your differing opinions with me at . If you agree or disagree it shows that you care about the runners and obviously cared enough to read the blog, and I thank you for both.

ALL STANCO BOYS' TEAM (in no particular order)

MARIO MEDINA (Gregori) 12th Highlights--1st MMC 1; 1st MMC 2; 1st MMC 3; 1st MMC 4; 2nd OA Sierra Inv; 17th D1 SS (17:17); 12th D1 Sect (16:34). Medina was the top boy in the MMC. His cool demeanor belies his competitive spirit. He missed qualifying for State by 1 sec.

ADAN CHAVEZ (Riverbank) 12th Highlights--1st TVL 1; 2nd TVL 2; 1st TVL 3; 1st StanCo HMB; 9th D4 SS (17:27); 2nd D4 Sect (16:46)--qualified for State.  Adan was solid in every race this season. He runs with the strength and heart of a champion.

MARC ALANIA (Modesto) 11th Highlights--4th MMC 1; 2nd MMC 2; 6th MMC 3; 3rd MMC 4; 44th D1 SS (17:42); 27th D1 Sect (17:00). Alania was one of a wave of MoHi front runners. He is a tough competitor who runs for the win. He returns next year to help lead the Panthers again.

DANIEL YANEZ (Hughson) 11th Highlights--4th TVL 1; 3rd TVL 2; 2nd TVL 3; 2nd Hugh SC; 4th D4 SS (17:19); 7th D4 Sect (17:03)--qualified for State. In one season Yanez goes from running F/S to qualifying for State. If his progress continues he will dominate D4 next year.

ANTHONY ARAUZA (Gregori) 12th Highlights--2nd MMC 1; 4th MMC 2; 2nd MMC 3; 6th MMC 4; 33rd D1 SS (17:30); 53rd D1 Sect (17:37). Arauza has grow as a runner through the years. His ability to "kick" at the end of races propelled him past many runners in many races.

EMMANUEL CHAVEZ (Riverbank) 12th Highlights--2nd TVL 1; 2nd StanCo HMB; 3rd TVL 3; 14th D4 SS (17:30); 5th D4 Sect (17:03)--qualified for State. Emmanuel and his brother were a gift to Riverbank last year. They have carried a young group on their shoulders back to the State meet.

ORLANDO CARDENAS (Modesto) 11th Highlights--5th MMC 1; 3rd MMC 2; 4th MMC 3; 2nd MMC 4; 3rd StanCo HMB; 15th D1 SS (17:08); 26th D1 Sect (16:59). Cardenas, like Yanez, was running F/S last year. He improved as the year progressed and will be the favorite to dominate the MMC next year.

ANDREW WILLIAMS (Modesto) 12th Highlights--10th MMC 1; 9th MMC 2; 3rd MMC 3; 11th MMC 4; 33rd D1 SS (17:03); 30th D1 Sect (17:03). Williams finished SS as the fastest StanCo performer. On the strength of that effort, over perhaps the most difficult course in the section, he makes this list.

JUSTIN GOERING (Downey) 12th Highlights--6th MMC 1; 6th MMC 2; 7th MMC 3; 8th MMC 4; 5th StanCo HMB; 17th D2 SS (17:16); 36th D2 Sect (17:28). Goering anchored the resurgent Downey team. He had a solid season, but it was his 3rd best StanCo performance at SS that vaults him onto this list.

JAMES DE LA O (Modesto) 12th Highlights--8th MMC 1: 7th MMC 2; 9th MMC 3; 7th MMC 4; 47th D1 SS (17:45); 52nd D1 Sect (17:37). DeLaO had a solid season. He provided the senior leadership that launched MoHi to the top StanCo team.

2014 All StanCo Girls' Team

Just in case you didn't read yesterday's All StanCo Team is the goal of this blog to give the hard working high school distance runners of Stanislaus County the recognition they deserve (and don't get from the local media). As with rankings in any sport on any level, it is not a pure science. I have spent most of the Fall attending meets, photographing runners, and writing up the results. These rankings represent my best effort to list the top ten local individuals. It is based on the total season and not just one specific meet. I'll also add that they are in no particular order.

KIM RUVALCABA (Riverbank) 11th Highlights--1st TVL1; 1st TVL 2; 1st TVL 3; 7th D4 SS (20:29); 4th D4 sect (19:17)--qualified for State. Without question Ruvalcaba was the class of the county. She appears slight but is a fierce competitor. The good news for the Bruins is that she has another year left.

ARIELLE NAMES (Downey) 11th Highlights--1st MMC 1; 1st MMC 2; 1st MMC3; 1st MMC 4; 2nd StanCo HMB; 25th D2 SS (21:34). Names emerged as the strongest competitor in the MMC. She has the strength to set the pace and incredible closing speed. Health issues kept her from competing in the Section meet.

ARIANNA LARA CHAVEZ (Turlock) 9th Highlights--1st CCC 1; 3rd CCC 2; 3rd CCC 3; 4th StanCo HMB; 69th D1 SS (22:00). Lara is a huge talent that is just figuring out how to race. Once her experience level and talent level are even, she will be a force.

HALEY RICHARDSON (Riverbank) 12th Highlights--6th TVL 1; 3rd TVL 3; 5th StanCo HMB; 18th D4 SS (21:49); 11th D4 Sect (20:44)--qualified for State. Richardson's strength grew as the season progressed. She is a seasoned veteran who rose to the level of her competition.

GUADALUPE VENTURA (Patterson) 12th Highlights--1st WAC Champ; 16th D3 SS (21:01); 20th D3 Sect (20:56). Flying under the radar in the WAC for much of the season, Ventura showed at Sections that she was still one of the best around.

SABRINA GARCIA (Riverbank) 12th Highlights--3rd TVL 1; 2nd TVL 2; 4th TVL 3; 27th D4 SS (22:15); 12th D4 Sect (20:56)--qualified for State. Like Richardson, Garcia was always at her best in the biggest meets. Garcia, Richardson, and Ruvalcaba provided a fierce 1-2-3 punch for the Bruins.

SAVANNAH MENDOZA (Modesto) 11th Highlights--2nd MMC 1; 2nd MMC 2; 2nd MMC 3; 2nd MMC 4; 15th D1 SS (20:21); 56th D1 Sect (21:36). Mendoza didn't have the same level of success in the MMC meets as she did last year, but she laid down a huge performance in SS to show everyone that they would be wrong to count her out.

HAYLEE OSGOOD (Downey) 11th Highlights--3rd MMC 1; 6th MMC 2; 3rd MMC 3; 3rd StanCo HMB; 29th D2 SS (21:46); 26th D2 Sect (21:28). Along with Names, Osgood spearheaded the emergence of Downey as a top-tier program. Her experience showed in the later meets on the tougher courses.

MADISON MAYS (Hughson) 12th Highlights--4th TVL 1; 5th TVL 2; 5th TVL 3; 15th D4 SS (21:30); 17th D4 Sect (21:20). Mays was the biggest surprise to me of the top ten girls. She definitely grew as a runner over the summer and used that strength to carry her through an impressive season.

ESMERALDA AGUAYO (Downey) 9th Highlights--5th MMC 1; 3rd MMC 2; 3rd MMC 3; 3rd MMC 4; 3rd StanCo HMB; 39th D2 SS (22:20); 29th D2 Sect (21:28). Just a Frosh, Aguayo has the potential to surpass the other MMC returnees and vault straight to the top.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2014 End of Season XC Team Rankings

Thus begins the task of posting the end of the season team and individual rankings. The Modesto Bee simply ignores XC as a sport worth covering to any real extent. Part of the mission of this blog has been to recognize the hard work and effort of our local distance runners. The Bee will ultimately recognize only one male and one female XC athlete (most likely not even someone from Stanislaus County). Over the next several days this blog will rank the top five male and female teams and the top 10 male and female individuals.

As with any rankings, there is a certain amount of controversy. I personally attended at least 12 different cluster meets, invitationals, and championships this season. I have seen some upsets, some incredible performances, and the anguish of season ending injuries.  I have poured over results. I have gone through piles of scratch paper comparing performances and times. In a perfect world, runner A beat runner B and therefore runner A would be ranked ahead of runner B. Unfortunately the next week, runner B would beat runner A and they would both lose to runners C and D. Especially in the individual boys' rankings the final selections were tough, as 15 or so runners vied for those ten spots (in my mind anyway). So there will be dissension and disagreement (as I have spent hours arguing with myself). I can only testify that I have done my best to recognize the ten runners who had the best over-all total seasons. As always I welcome your comments. . Thank you for supporting this blog. Thank you for supporting our local runners.


2nd place in D4 Lady bruins of Riverbank
Led by Kim Ruvalcaba, Haley Richardson and Sabrina Garcia veteran performances the Bruins  won the TVL (again) and qualified for State (again). Although the never raced head to head against the Downey Knights--they did beat them on total time in the Sub-section and Section meets.
the MMC Champion Lady Knights
The Knights vault into the upper tier of the larger section teams using a combination of veteran leadership (Haylee Osgood and Arielle Names) and talented newcomers (Esmeralda Aguayo and Makaelyn Bickel). Downey swept through the MMC and into the section meet for the first time in 22 years. Oh did I mention that 9 of their top ten runners return next year.

Led by super Frosh Arianna Lara Chavez and anchored by Senior Makenzie Salyer the Lady Dogs had high expectations heading into the season. They struggled to gel and and overcome strong Atwater and Merced teams in CCC competition.  Cassie Derdivanis came on strong at Subs, hinting at her strong future with this team. The Bulldogs return much of their team for next year.

the Ladies of MoHi
At the start of the season I thought this team led by Savannah Mendoza would be challenging Riverbank for the top county spot. They never found that solid fifth runner, and Kerry Young suffered a season ending stress fracture. The top runners all return for next season.

Riddled by injury and bad luck, the Gregori ladies struggled this season. Ultimately they finished third in the MMC championship meet to earn this spot. Led by two of the best runners in the county, Mya Torres and Torey Maravilla (who both return), they have the nucleus for a strong program for next season.

The Modesto Panthers
The MoHi team has DEPTH, TALENT, and GRIT. On paper (to me) it looked like Gregori would easily beat Modesto this season...not to be as MoHi beat the Jaguars head to head 6 straight times this season. Led by Marc Alania, Andrew Williams, Orlando Cardenas, James DeLaO, and Isaiah Avila-DeLaCruz they swept through the MMC. Mixing returning all-MMC performers with last year's top sophomore performers seems to be a recipe that Coach Heese has perfected. This year's product placed 7th in the D1 Section Meet. The Panthers return some strong runners and easily will top the preseason list next year.

the Gregori boys early in the season

Gregori returned most of the team that won the MMC last season. Top performers Mario Medina, Anthony Arauza, and newcomer/transfer Jeremy Hart appeared to be the ingredients for another MMC title. The supporting senior runners seemed a step slower than years past and Modesto seemed a step quicker at every turn. Take nothing away from this Gregori team that placed a very impressive 8th in the super-strong D1 Section Meet. Gregori graduates almost everyone except Hart.

TVL champion Bruins
The Bruins won the TVL and placed 2nd in the D4 Section meet to qualify for State. Led by the amazing twins, Adan and Emmanuel Chavez, Riverbank was short on depth but showed resilency through injury and illness. The Chavez brothers graduate and will be difficult to replace.

4 of the top five Huskies
Hughson placed 6th in the D4 Section and 2nd in the TVL. Their trademark performance this season was a win over the Bruins in TVL 2. Daniel Yanez led the way all season, and fortunately for Coach Bernard he returns next year and will anchor another strong team.
The Knights surpassed the strong programs of Enochs and Turlock over the final meets. They moved Inteus Schiavo up to varsity giving them a top-tier performer to add to Justin Goering. This duo led them to the Section meet for the first time in ten years, where they finished 9th in D2. Goering graduates but the rest all return.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sac Joaquin Section Championship Meet

This past Saturday many of Stanislaus County's top runners competed against the rest of the section over the undulating Willow Hills course. This course is widely regarded as the toughest section championship course in the state. Although the recent rains kept down the dust, the rocky trails and the constantly changing elevation of the terrain make this course more than challenging for the flat-lander StanCo schools. With all of that said, there were some impressive and some disappointing results turned in by our local athletes and teams.
The 2nd place RBK Ladies--photo credit Dick Hodges

The highlight for the local girls was the second place finish in the D4 race by the Lady Bruins of Riverbank. Their runner-up finishing position also qualified them for November 29th's State Championship Meet in Fresno.
Riverbank's own Kim Ruvalcaba was the fastest StanCo finisher placing 4th in the D4 race with a time of 19:17. The next two fastest runners were also from Riverbank (Haley Richardson and Sabrina Garcia) demonstrating why they are the top girls' team in the county. The top MMC ladies suffered through a rough day. Arielle Names (Downey) was ill most of the week and was unable to compete. StanCo's top finisher in the Sub-Section meet, Savannah Mendoza (Modesto) had a rare off day in the super-fast D1 race.

Richardson and Garcia
 StanCo finishers under 23:00
21. 4th in D4 Kim Ruvalcaba (Riverbank) 19:17
80. 11th in D4 Haley Richardson (Riverbank) 20:44
89. 12th in D4 Sabrina Garcia (Riverbank) 20:56
97. 20th in D3 Lupe Ventura (Patterson) 21:02
122. 26th in D1 Haylee Osgood (Downey) 21:19
124. 17th in D4 Madison Mays (Hughson) 21:20
130. 29th in D2 Esmeralda Aguayo (Downey) 21:28
139. 56th in D1 Savannah Mendoza (Modesto) 21:36
153. 37th in D3 Anna Perrone (Oakdale) 21:48
174. 29th in D4 Joslyn Beliera (Riverbank) 22:01
189. 46th in D2 Makaelyn Bickel (Downey) 22:16
196. 49th in D2 Erika Martinez (Downey) 22:24
219. 58th in D2 Esther Limon (Downey) 22:44
224. 39th in D4 Lydia Hodges (Riverbank) 22:54

The Riverbank girls' team were the only StanCo female qualifiers for the State Meet. Team-wise RBK won the battle of the top two StanCo schools by taking down The Downey girls with a total time of 1:45:52 to Downey's 1:50:11. As I stated at the top, the Knights were missing top runner Arielle Names, but she alone couldn't have made up the four plus minute gap between the two teams.

For the boys the only State Meet qualifiers were Adan and Emmanuel Chavez (Riverbank), and Daniel Yanez (Hughson) who all earned individual spots out of the D4 race. The top StanCo finisher was Mario Medina (Gregori), who just missed a State Meet invitation by a mere one second.
Alania and Medina
Emmanuel and Adan Chavez--photo credit Dick Hodges
StanCo finishers under 18:00
23. 12th in D1 Mario Medina (Gregori) 16:34
36. 2nd in D4 Adan Chavez (Riverbank) 16:46
53. 26th in D1 Orlando Cardenas (Modesto) 16:59
54. 27th in D1 Marc Alania (Modesto) 17:00
55. 5th in D4 Emmanuel Chavez (Riverbank) 17:01
60. 7th in D4 Daniel Yanez (Hughson) 17:03
61. 30th in D1 Andrew Williams (Modesto) 17:03
107. 32nd in D2 Inteus Schiavo (Downey) 17:24
112. 36th D2 Justin Goering (Downey) 17:28
116. 15th in D4 Austin Zehr (Hughson) 17:30
129. 52nd in D1 James DeLaO (Modesto) 17:37
131. 53rd in D1 Anthony Arauza (Gregori) 17:37
139. 55th in D1 Nick Sanders (Gregori) 17:45
144. 57th in D1 Jeremy Hart (Gregori) 17:46
145. 44th in D2 Hunter Casey (Downey) 17:46
152. 20 in D4 Ruben Paradez (Riverbank) 17:48
173. 30th in D3 Tomas Virgen (Patterson) 17:58

Team-wise it was Modesto pulling in the fastest StanCo time. They have won all year by committee, as they have had at least three different runners finish in their top spot. The Gregori team of mostly seniors wrap up four very successful years running together. I have enjoyed watching them grow over the past four years.

7th in D1 Modesto 1:26:47
8th in D1 Gregori 1:27:58
4th in D4 Riverbank 1:28:42
6th in D4 Hughson 1:29:55
9th in D2 Downey 1:30:35


PHOTOS (by Screamin Scott)

PHOTOS (by Camera Kim)