Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lodi Flame/Running of the Warriors

TVL rivals Riverbank and Hughson began their seasons Friday at the The Lodi Flame Inv at Lodi Lake. Riverbank clearly ran all of their top individuals in the varsity division. Hughson split some of their better girls between several divisions. Hopefully at Wednesday's first TVL Cluster we will see both teams at full strength.

Ruvalcaba sprints to the finish by Greg Beliera
In the girls' varsity in StanCo and RBK top runner Kim Ruvalcaba, coming in 6th place mere seconds ahead of teammate Stephanie Bernal. Stephanie's career is a story of perseverance and determination. Her improvement over the past year is nothing but remarkable.On the team side RBK placed an admirable 3rd in the heated competition.
Bernal by Greg Beliera
6. Kim Ruvalcaba (Riverbank) 20:20
8. Stephanie Bernal (Riverbank) 20:25
21. Kinsey Langley (Hughson) 21:57
24. Eli Rosas (Rivervank) 22:07
33. Heavyn Herroz (Hughson) 22:39
35. Lydia Hodges (Riverbank) 22:52
41. Esmeralda Campos (Hughson) 23:18
54. Joslyn Beliera (Riverbank) 23:57

Two of Hughson's top 5 ran in other divisions (running the shorter 2 mi distance) and competed well. In the JV Div Abigayle Mitchell placed 2nd in 13:41. In the Frosh Div Emily Fife placed 3rd in 13:20.  I think that these two runners would have been near the places of Heavyn and Lydia if they had run Varsity...setting up a very interesting senerio for Wednesday's competition.

Yanez surrounded by a pack by Greg Beliera
On the Boys' varsity side Riverbank placed 9th and Hughson was 10th. Hughson was missing All-StanCo Preseon selection Logan Seagle who reportedly did little training over the summer. If he can get to his track form the TVL competition between these two perennial powers could be close.
Paredez by Greg Beliera
14. Daniel Yanez (Hughson) 17:20
18. Ruben Paredez (Riverbank) 17:30
30. Diego Ruiz (Riverbank) 17:54
40. Jayme Jackson (Hughson) 18:12
62. Michael Rodriguez (Riverbank) 18:43
71. Eric Wise (Riverbank) 19:08
77. Carson Boice (Hughson) 19:20
80. Josue Esquivel (Hughson) 19:26
82. Noah Glynn (Riverbank) 19:27
83. Garrett Hartman (Hughson) 19:29


 This is a community 5K event put on and held at Stanislaus State. Since it is held in Turlock,  Pitman, Turlock, and Hilmar athletes often compete. It appears to me that The Pitman boys ran a bit better than they did on Friday and the Turlock girls ran a bit better. But it was former Turlock star and current Hilmar runner, Arianna Lara, who showed she is going to be a contender in the TVL by turning in the top HS time.
4. David Bozquez (Turlock) 17:54
7. Eric Alvarez (Turlock) 18:01
11. Josh VanAllen (Pitman) 18:18
13. Carlos Salas (Turlock) 18:26
14. Easton Hamilton (Pitman) 18:41
16. Richard Turknett (Pitman) 18:42
17. Casey Avellar (Turlock) 18:47
19. Kyle Reid (Pitman) 18:54
20. Jack Wooley (Turlock) 19:00

50. Arianna Lara (Hilmar) 20:18
80. Maria Varela (Turlock) 21:44
81. Bianca Garcia (Pitman) 21:47
82. Ade Fredeen (Turlock) 21:47
87. Priscilla Bazan (Pitman) 21:54
92. Meghan Hopkins (Turlock)
93. Cassie Derdivanis (Turlock) 22:06


Coming up this week: Wed 9/2 WAC PreSeason Meet at River Oaks in Ceres; TVL #1 at Legion in Modesto; Fri 9/5 Hughson is at the Twilight Classic and Beyer, Turlock, and Pitman are at the Jaguar Inv. (Sat 9/5 Riverbank is at willow Hills relays and Downey hits the trails for the first time at the very tough and competitive Lagoon Valley Inv in Vacaville.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

And We're Off--the Season Begins (Turlock v Pitman)

Yesterday was the unofficial kick-off for the XC season. In a friendly rivalry scrimmage the Bulldogs of Turlock HS met the Pride of Pitman HS at Donnelly Park. It was HOT! That, and given the limited conditioning of many of the athletes, made this pancake flat course tougher than usual.

On the boys' side it was all Turlock as they took the top seven spots. David Bozquez showed he is ready for the big time. He took the lead at the gun and powered to a time of 17:22 (exactly matching Javier Lara's winning time from last year.)

Bozquez led from wire to wire
1. David Bozquez (Turlock) 17:22
2. Eric Alvarez (Turlock) 18:01
3. Johnny Hollcraft (Turlock) 18:01
4. Carlos Salas (Turlock) 18:18
5. Jack Wooley (Turlock) 18:19
6. Primo Manzo (Turlock) 18:30
7. Rigo Maldonado (Turlock) 18:45
8. Kyle Reid (Pitman) 18:51
9. Will Anderson (Turlock) 18:52
10. Keith Reid (Pitman) 18:53

Turlock's large pack
On the girls' side the team race was a bit closer. At the halfway point Pitman runners had the top three spots which would have given them an insurmountable advantage. As the race progressed the large Turlock pack overtook the third Pitman runner giving the Bulldogs a 25-34 team victory. The Pride's Priscilla Bazan and Bianca Garcia lead the way. The times were a lot slower than the winning time of 19:42 from last year, but every season has to begin somewhere.
Siegel, Bazan, and Garcia led Pitman
1. Priscilla Bazan (Pitman) 21:52
2. Bianca Garcia (Pitman) 21:54
3. Maria Varela (Turlock) 22:17
4. Cassie Derdivanis (Turlock) 22:18
5. Ade Fredeen (Turlock) 22:18
6. Meghan Hopkins (Turlock) 22:19
7. Paola Garcia (Turlock)
8. Sarah Siegel (Pitman)
9. Erin Knopp-Sargoni (Turlock)
10. Megan Drew (Turlock)

Riverbank, Hughson, and Big Valley will all be in action tomorrow at the Lodi Flame Inv. 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

StanCo PreSeason Girl's Team Rankings

There are at least 24 high schools in Stanislaus County; unfortunately, there are only a handful of quality XC teams in the area. Maybe, in part, a lack of publicity stifles interest in the sport. It, XC, of course is not an easy or glamorous sport. Long, hot, sweaty, dusty miles of training followed by 3 miles of racing---I should stop sugar-coating it--LOL. But honestly the media doesn't give these kids the credit they deserve. Every day in the Bee recently there has been an article about a local football team/player, but nothing about any other sport...this blog can't solve all the disproportionality of HS sports' media coverage, but I am attempting to make a small dent.

Last night I covered the boys and tonight it is the girl's turn. I will attempt a pre-season team ranking. As always I welcome your comments. I am not "all-knowing." Please enlighten me if I am off base or have missed something. Much more so than with the boy's teams, Frosh/rookie runners have a huge impact with the girl's programs, making team predictions more difficult. Every year there is at least one female Frosh(sometimes even around ten) who greatly impacts that school's varsity XC team, and therefore the league as a whole. Last year Downey was blessed with at least 4 hugely talented Frosh runners, who had a major impact on both the XC and track outcomes. With that said I can only rank teams based on returning (known) runners.
Names leads the Knights
1. DOWNEY--the Knights finished last season as the number 2 team. They returned everyone. Their younger nucleus only got stronger over the track season. They will again be led by Arielle Names (2:24) and Haylee Osgood (5:38), followed closely by Esmeralda Aguayo. Aguayo is beginning her Sophomore year and has the talent (12:11/5:55) be the front runner giving them a very strong threesome up front. The rest of the team is talented and deep. Meghann Lofling (2:30), Makaelin Bickel (5th MMC), Erika Martinez (8th MMC), and Megan Matas provide the fire power.
Mendoza leads the Panthers
2. MODESTO--The Panthers finished 4th in last year's final standings, and they return their entire top seven. They should be led by Savannah Mendoza and supported by the improving Hilda Perez. Sonia Perez and Kerry Young are very tough competitors. Given the size of Modesto HS and the size of their XC team, MoHi could certainly have one (or more) of those sleeper Freshmen. A couple top Freshmen could make the Downey/Modesto races very interesting.
Ruvalcaba leads the Bruins
3. RIVERBANK--The Bruins lost their #2 and #3 runners to graduation. There is no doubt that it will be difficult to replace them. That said, Kim Ruvalcaba will lead the way as the top StanCo runner. Stephanie Bernal continues to improve move toward that upper tier of competitors. Joslyn Beliera has huge talent and competitive drive. Her team will need all of it to repeat in the TVL.
Lara leads the Bulldogs
4. TURLOCK--The Bulldogs graduated their leader but still have a solid group that could ultimately land them much higher on this list. Soph Adrianna Lara will pace the team as she did last year. Cassie Derdivanis had an incredible SubSection meet last year. She will need to perform at that level the whole season to keep Turlock in the hunt. Maria Varela is a solid team member at 5:48 in track.
Maravilla leads the Jaguars
5. GREGORI--The Jags finished in the 5 spot last year. Their top two runners have the potential to be amazing. Mya Torres and Victoreya Maravilla were injured for much of last season. If they are healthy, Gregori has a foundation. Obviously they will need a lot of help and could use some sleeper Freshmen.
Garcia leads the Pride
5. PITMAN--The Pride are building. Sophs Bianca Garcia (2:31/5:54) and Priscilla Bazan (5:49) provide some stability and talent to grow on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

StanCo PreSeason Boy's Team Rankings

Last week I took a shot at predicting some of the top individual male and female runners to take note of for the up-coming XC season.

Tonight I will aim for the top male teams (preseason team rankings in-other-words)
Alania and Cardenas will lead the Panthers
1. MODESTO--The Panthers of the west-side, Modesto is one of the largest of the StanCo schools. It also fields one of the largest XC teams. Blessed with quantity, quality, great tradition and consistent coaching, allows MoHi to field a solid team every year. This coming year, led by preseason picks Marc Alania and Orlando Cardenas, Modesto is my top pick. The supporting cast is the difference maker...they have DEPTH and then some. Luis and Jose Orendain, Cameron Duquette, Josue Perez, Hector Gonzalez, Graham and Aiden McAllister together give Modesto a pile of quality runners to lead them (and keep them) to the top.
Hart will lead the Jags
2. GREGORI--The Jags lost nearly their entire varsity squad to graduation. Two of the County's top runners (Jeremy Hart and Santiago Ruiz) should make Gregori dangerous (and keep MoHi honest in the MMC). The supporting cast is good too. Roman Franzia seems on the verge of the improvement that his team will need to truly challenge for a league title.
Yanez will lead the Huskies
3. HUGHSON--I am predicting that the Huskies will slip past RBK this season (it was a tough call). They will be led by Daniel Yanez, who could be the top "dog" in the TVL this year. Behind him I think they have more depth than RBK and that I believe could be the difference. Logan Seagle popped a 10:22 in track and is poised to leap into the big time. Carson Boice, Jayme Jackson, and a host of others should round out the field.
Paredez will lead the Bruins
4. RIVERBANK--The Bruins coax the best out of the athletes they have. I think that the team will be good but a bit thin this season. Ruben Paredez will challenge Yanez in the TVL. Diego Ruiz, Michael Rodriguez, Eric Wise are experienced varsity runners.
Schiavo will lead the Knights
5. DOWNEY--The Knights are a team on the rebound. They should easily place 3rd in the MMC and may have improved enough to challenge Gregori. The top runner Inteus Schiavo placed 5th in the MMC as a Soph in XC, but was injured for most of track. Healthy now, he could win the league. Hunter Casey won the MMC in the 800m and is a fierce competitor. The supporting cast will all have to improved from last year to move up the list.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

PreSeason All StanCo Girls' XC Team

A repeat brief explanation here (in case you didn't read the previous post). I normally finish the season by naming an All-Stan Co team of ten males and ten females. I think I will begin the year with a PreSeason listing. Maybe I don't need to qualify my comments, but I will. Much of what I have to say is based on last year's track and XC competition and results. Honestly I have no way of knowing if all of these athletes are even competing this season. Certainly, some could even be injured. I will also add that being named on this list means nothing. There is no substitute for long miles, hard work, and true dedication to your goals. I wish everyone the best of luck this season.

 Kim Ruvalcaba (Riverbank) 12th--the cream of this list; 1st in TVL; 2:28/5:27/11:27 times from track.
Names and Mendoza
Savannah Mendoza (Modesto) 12th--2nd in all MMC races and top StanCo runner at Subs; 5:37 in track
Arielle Names (Downey) 12th--1st in all MMC meets last season; 2:24 in 800m

Haylee Osgood (Downey) 12th--4th in MMC XC; HUGE PR in track of 5:38

Esmeralda Aguayo (Downey) 10th--3rd in MMC as Frosh; 12:11 in track

Stephanie Bernal (Riverbank) 12th--emerged as a real threat by producing times of 5:55 and 12:18 in track
Arianna Lara (Turlock) 10th--was 3rd in CCC XC as a Frosh and produced times of 2:30/5:44/12:52 in track.

Victoreya Maravilla (Gregori) 12th--injured for much of last season but still was 10th at MMC and ran 2:29 in track

Hailey Rodriguez Delany (Enochs) 12th --her talent is deceiving; she was 7th in MMC and 6th at SubSects last XC season
Torres leading Osgood, Erika Martinez, and Rodriguez Delany
Mya Torres (Gregori) 12th--Is she running this year? Last year she was injured for much of the season. Her talent can not be ignored in that she is one of only 2 active MMC runners that have broken 20:00 on the MMC course.

Nicole Warwick (Modesto Christian) 11th--a huge distance talent whose interests lie in the sprints

Hilda Perez (Modesto) 11th--9th in MMC XC; 12:40/5:54
Cassie Derdivanis (Turlock) 12th--10th StanCo finisher at last year's SubSect meet
Heavyn Herroz (Hughson) 12th--13th TVL; 2:27/5:55
Joslyn Beliera (Riverbank) 11th--7th TVL XC; is a real distance talent whose interest is split between running and softball.
Makaelyn Bickel (Downey) 10th--5th in MMC XC as a Frosh
Erika Martinez (Downey) 11th--8th MMC XC 
Bianca Garcia (Pitman) 10th--really came into her own as a Frosh in track 2:31/5:54; this year's XC should be her real coming out party
Meghann Lofling (Downey) 10th--2:30 800m in track as a Frosh
Maria Varela (Turlock) 11th--5:48 1600m
Sarah Hollcraft (Hughson) 11th--5:42 1600m (I have been informed that she isn't running XC in favor of Volleyball) Too bad.
Esmeralda Campos (Hughson) 10th--impressive 5:42 and 12:33 marks as a Frosh. She could easily leap into the upper group.
Kristan Aguilar (Oakdale) 11th--5:48 1600m 
Kyannah Hernandez (Oakdale) 12th--5:53 1600m
Priscilla Bazan (Pitman) 10th--5:49 1600m as a Frosh

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Boys' PreSeason All-StanCo Team

With most of the StanCo schools back in session it is time to start thinking about the 2015 XC season that is looming on the horizon. The first major meet is the Lodi Flame Inv on August 28th with the first TVL Cluster following the next week (9/2).

I normally finish the season by naming an All-Stan Co team of ten males and ten females. I think I will begin the year with a PreSeason listing. Maybe I don't need to qualify my comments, but I will. Much of what I have to say is based on last year's track and XC competition and results. Honestly I have no way of knowing if all of these athletes are even competing this season. Certainly, some could even be injured. I will also add that being named on this list means nothing. There is no substitute for long miles, hard work, and true dedication to your goals. I wish everyone the best of luck this season.


Michael Keith (Enochs) 12th--although Michael had some issues in XC last year he was the class of the MMC in the 1600m in track. If he can hang on to the top pack in XC he will out kick anyone to the line.
Inteus Schivo (Downey) 11th--he was injured for the whole track season, but XC results certainly indicate his vast potential; 5th in MMC XC, 10:30ish in 9th grade track
Santiago Ruiz (Gregori) 10th--won the MMC 3200m in track as a Frosh (10:15). He should explde into the vacuum left by a huge graduating group at Gregori.
Jeremy Hart (Gregori) 12th--was injured at the very end of track season but posted times of 10:11 and 4:35. Frequently goes out too fast, alittle restraint could lead him to an MMC title.
Daniel Yanez (Hughson) 12th--placed 2nd in TVL XC last season and posted a 10:12 3200m in track. Could be the top dog errrr "Husky" in the TVL
Orlando Cardenas (Modesto) 12th--didn't run track but placed 2nd in MMC XC. Don't let his unassuming character fool you, he is a competitor.
Marc Alania (Modesto) 12th--placed 3rd in MMC XC and posted a 4:44 1600m time in track. His times and interest seem to be fading a bit as he splits his efforts between XC and soccer.
Ruben Paradez (Riverbank) 12th--posted a 10:26 3200m in track. He is likely to be RBK's top male this year as he emerges from the sizable shadow of the Chavez brothers.
Tomas Virgen (Patterson) 11th--should be the top male in the WAC (3rd last year). He posted 10:08/4:46 times in track
Hunter Casey (Downey) 12th--maybe a long shot selection here. He posted an impressive 2:00 800m in track, but I am uncertain if he can stretch that effort into top-notch 3 mi times. he is a full on competitor.

Anthony Vasquez (Central Catholic) 10th--CC isn't normally a hotbed of XC talent (Do they even have a team??) But Anthony is the real deal. In track he posted 10:11/4:34 and would be on the first list if I knew he was running XC .

Logan Seagle (Hughson) 10th--posted 10:22 3200m in track
Diego Ruiz (Riverbank) 12th--he was 11th in TVL XC last season and posted 10:23 in 3200m

David Bozquez (Turlock) 11th--was in the shadow of a very deep Turlock distance crew (that all graduated). Posted 10:36 in track
Eric Alvarez (Turlock) 11th see above...Eric and David should lead the rebirth of the Bulldog program after a massive loss to graduation. 4:43 in track

Carson Boice (Hughson) 11th--was 11th in TVL XC last year 10:38 in track

Luis Orendain (Modesto) 11th--very dedicated hard worker, 10:40 in track
Josue Perez (Modesto) 10th--see above 10:42 in track
Roman Franzia (Gregori) 11th--10:44 in track

Jayme Jackson (Hughson) 11th--10:50/4:50 in track--one of a number of Husky interchangeable team parts.

Nathan Gutierrez (Enochs) 12th--10:57
Aidan McAllester (Modesto) 10th--10:55, likely vaults from the F/S team to the top 7
Eric Wise (Riverbank) 12th--10:57
Mason Reeves (Gregori) 10th--10:57
James Forkner (Oakdale)--10:57
Josh Gorman (Oakdale)--4:45
Josh VanAllen (Pitman)--4:48
Cameron Duquette (Modesto)--ready to to wear that varsity uniform.
Jose Orendain (Modesto)--see above
Jared Bingham (Beyer) 11th--if he can find someone to train with he is ready for the big time

Monday, June 1, 2015

Section Masters Results--last track post

Last Thursday was the Section Masters qualifying rounds with the finals being held the next evening on Friday. Only a quartet of StanCo distance runners made it out of the divisional meets last week to qualify for the prestigious Masters meet.

During Thursday's competition Riverbank senior Sabrina Garcia competed in the 800m. She placed 16th in a PR time of 2:21.98. Producing her fastest time ever was a fitting end to a stellar high school career.

Friday's 1600m and 3200m included three StanCo athletes. In the the boys' 1600m Central Catholic frosh Anthony Vasquez was a bit over-matched but definitely will learn from the experience and be back in future years. He placed 23rd with a time of 4:39.03.

In the girls 3200m two StanCo athletes competed and both finished with PRs. Riverbank junior and top StanCo distance runner placed 18th in a PR time of 11:27.99. If she can improve the same amount in the coming year that she did in her junior year, she will be in the mix next year for a berth in the State meet.  In the same race Patterson senior Guadalupe Ventura also PRed in 11:44.93 to place 23rd. I will miss watching Lupe run. She was never flashy but always competed at a high level and was a true inspiration to others in the sport.

This will be my last post of the 2015 track season. Already I am looking forward to what the Fall's XC season might have in store for our local runners.

It is those long hot Summer miles that will lead to those Autumn PRs!