Aptos High’s Marissa Ferrante gets out to a sizeable lead at the 1-mile mark Saturday at Crystal Springs in Belmont.
BELMONT — Watsonville came to see how it stacked up with the other teams from the Central Coast Section. So did North Monterey County, which wanted to work on running as a pack. Pajaro Valley just wanted to make an appearance.
And, as usual, Aptos came to prove who’s boss.
The Mariners’ boys cross-country team won the championship varsity race Saturday morning, beating the chill, the wind and a field of runners from across the section at Crystal Springs Park in a midseason tuneup.
“I love this course,” senior Rylan Hunt said after taking second overall in 15 minutes and 19 seconds. “My first CCS (meet) was here, and they say you fall in love with your first CCS course. And this is my last race here.”
Dayne Gradone was the second Mariner across — fourth overall — finishing in 15:28, and Mitch Moriarty ran a 15:44, good for fifth place.
“We never really go after the invitationals,” Aptos coach Dan Gruber said. “I was surprised the boys won because they had homecoming, and everyone went to the dance last night.”
The boys weren’t Aptos’ only winners Saturday. Senior Marissa Ferrante, the team’s resident energizer bunny, was the varsity girls’ overall winner, crossing in 18:06 — 11 seconds ahead of the second-place runner, and 21 seconds ahead of the ensuing pack. Kim McMullen finished 11th for Aptos in 19:14, and Linnea Biddick and Emily Nevitt finished 14-15, in 19:17 and 19:18, respectively, as the Mariners finished in second place behind only Maria Carrillo High of Santa Rosa.
“It’s good to get out ahead,” a supremely modest Ferrante said. “It’s harder for people to catch you.”
North Monterey County’s Jovita Trujillo, the top girls runner in the Monterey Bay League, finished 21st overall in 19:30 and collapsed in exhaustion after crossing the finish line. Nadine Huerta was 38th in 20:19 for the Condors, and Zaira Guzman crossed 72nd in 21:20. North County took 10th place out of 26 teams.
“I went out too fast,” said Trujillo, who ran despite feeling ill. “I’m sick, and with the cold, I just lost oxygen. I was too excited, and going downhill, it just costs you for the rest of the race.”
Watsonville’s Honeygirl Lacasandile came in 114th in 23:12 to lead the Wildcatz, and Katie Moore was just behind her at 23:14.
“It’s the first time we’re competing against other CCS schools this year,” Watsonville coach Alex Siqueros said. “It gives us a good opportunity to see where we’re at.”
The Wildcatz’s boys team was led by freshman Edgar Garcia, who finished just ahead of teammate Rene Siqueros in 17:29, good for 52nd place in the boys championship varisty race. Siqueros was 53rd, one second behind.
St. Francis’ Michael Young took seventh overall in the boys varsity race, a 30-team event, in 16:14. Anzar’s Aron Hsia-Coron was 17th in 26:36, and North County’s Miguel Gallegos finished 22nd in 16:45. Pajaro Valley’s Eric Yepez led the way for the Grizzlies, taking 141st out of 226 in 18:57. Teammate Dan Yepez was 166th in 19:25, just behind St. Francis’ Anthony Gotti, who crossed in 19:24. John Ryan took 159th for the Sharks in 19:16.
The Condors finished in sixth place, and Anzar took 11th. St. Francis and Pajaro Valley did not field complete teams.
“We just wanted to practice pack running,” Condors coach Gus Ibarra said, “So we held our front runners back. If you want to do well, you have to synch up your 4-5-6 spots. But our No. 1 guy, at the end of the first mile, he’s in third, and I had to yell at him to shut it down. You have to sacrifice for the team.
“It’s a practice meet,” Ibarra said. “By the time the end of the season comes up, we’ll have a plan for the championships.”
Photo by I.A. Stewart/Register-Pajaronian
(Published in 10/13/08 edition)
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