Baler runners post top marks in TCALs

Freshman Britni Skardovtos leads the pack as Jamila Saqqa and Kelly O’Brien trail during the TCALs Saturday at Toro Park.

The San Benito girls varsity team finished in first place during
the Tri-County Athletic League finals Saturday at Toro Park, and
the boys team finished in second place.

Both coaches realized that it was a compliment to the
program,

said Baler coach Jess Morales.

The Salinas coach congratulated me on our victory, and I
congratulated him on the boys win. I think we finally realized that
we are going to be doing this for awhile. But it is not about us.
It is about the kids.

The San Benito girls varsity team finished in first place during the Tri-County Athletic League finals Saturday at Toro Park, and the boys team finished in second place.

“Both coaches realized that it was a compliment to the program,” said Baler coach Jess Morales. “The Salinas coach congratulated me on our victory, and I congratulated him on the boys win. I think we finally realized that we are going to be doing this for awhile. But it is not about us. It is about the kids.”

Clad in their spiffy new uniform with a winged “H” on the shirt and “San Benito” on the shorts, the Balers ran a solid race.

The girls team won the meet with a score of 29, while Salinas came in with a 46. After the meet, the team got together to exchange congratulations and hugs.

“Throughout the whole race, I was giving them signs we worked on,” Morales said. “I just wanted them to hold on and finish the race.”

Junior Jamie O’Brien (19:01) came in in second place overall in the race behind Live Oak’s Cobbie Jones (20:28).

The Balers had six of their seven runners place in the top ten: sophomore Jamila Saqqa (5th), freshman Britni Skardovtos (6th), senior Tara Hill (7th), junior Kelly O’Brien (9th) and senior LeeAnn Morales (10th).

“The girls really stepped up,” Morales said. “They really raced as a team. We had a chance to work on a couple things, and the girls were able to adapt to it. They did exactly what we worked on when we went out to the race.”

The boys team finished second with a score of 45, behind Salinas (27).

Senior Jonathan Rivera won the race for the Balers. He finished with a time of 16:04 – 15 seconds faster than the second-place finisher from North Salinas. It was the eighth straight year the Balers have had a top racer at that spot.

Josh Vasquez, Kyle Fowles and freshman Alfredo Lopez finished in 10th, 11th and 12th respectively for the Balers.

Jeff Spencer came in 14th, Eduardo Trujillo finished 20th and freshman Kevin Viera was the final Baler finisher in the 23rd spot.

The girls JV team won the race. Nereyda Garcia came in first with a time of 22:35. And the Baler boys JV team came in third.

The Baler frosh team boys team finished in second place behind the strong performance of Kyle Bamrick and Kyle Ferguson, who finished first and third.

Both boys and girls varsity teams will be competing in the Central Coast finals at Crystal Springs. The boys start at 2:30 p.m. while the girls go at 2:50 p.m.

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