San Benito cross-country runs into strong Salinas side

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San Benito High cross-country will have to wait until Nov. 1,
date of the Tri-County Athletic League meet, for another crack at
Salinas. The Balers ran as hard as possible, but were beaten in
both varsity divisions by the front-running Cowboys Monday at windy
and dusty Park Hill.
The Baler boys varsity put up a good fight, but fell short
26-31. The Baler girls weren’t quite as competitive, losing 21-38.
It didn’t help the San Benito girls’ cause that Jamie O’brian, who
was battling in the top three for half the race, dropped out due to
undisclosed reasons.
San Benito High cross-country will have to wait until Nov. 1, date of the Tri-County Athletic League meet, for another crack at Salinas. The Balers ran as hard as possible, but were beaten in both varsity divisions by the front-running Cowboys Monday at windy and dusty Park Hill.

The Baler boys varsity put up a good fight, but fell short 26-31. The Baler girls weren’t quite as competitive, losing 21-38. It didn’t help the San Benito girls’ cause that Jamie O’brian, who was battling in the top three for half the race, dropped out due to undisclosed reasons.

In the varsity boys race, Alfredo Lopez, a Baler freshman, played the role of the rabbit and spurted to the front for the first half mile or so. Lopez couldn’t quite keep his pace and placed eighth with a time of 19:04. The Balers’ best hope for an individual first was the talented Jonathan Rivera. Rivera led the Cowboys Omar Mendoza at the 1.5-mile mark. However, Mendoza was the stronger of the two and overtook Rivera, winning the race in a swift 17:38. Rivera was second at 17:50.

Josh Vasquez ran a good race for the Balers and placed fifth at 18:17. Freshman Rigo Vasquez, seventh at 18:52 and Kyle Fowles, ninth at 19:08, rounded out the Balers’ top five runners. Freshman Eddie Trujillo (19:24) and Albert Sandoval (19:27) filled out the seven Balers entered in the race.

“We’re going to improve,” said Rivera. “We’re just starting to come together.”

“I was impressed with the way we ran today,” said Baler head cross-country coach Jess Morales. “We had three freshmen out there running. A couple of our runners have been sick. We were a little tired from running on Saturday. I’m not making excuses. Salinas is a very strong team. I still think we can get them in league.”

The Cowboys swept the top three places in the varsity girls race with Amy Cranford running virtually alone to win 21:55.

Teralynn Hill was fourth for the Balers at 24:02 with Lee Ann Morales (24:04) and Jamila Saqqa (24:19) right behind Hill. Other Baler runners included Vanessa Ocampo (26:05), Briana Colorado (26:50) and Brenda Garibay (27:13).

The Balers easily won the junior varsity boys race in posting a 17-47 victory. Kevin Viera was first in a 1-2-3 Baler sweep at 19:16. Jeff Spencer (2nd-19:18), Arturo Ceja (3rd-20:11), Kyle Ferguson (5th-20:18) and Ernesto Lostanau (20:57) completed the top five Baler runners..

The Baler frosh-soph were defeated 23-31.

The Balers won’t participate in the Stanford Invitational this Saturday, opting to pass and rest. The next T-CAL meet is a tri-meet and is next Monday at Toro Park with Live Oak, Palma and Notre Dame.

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