PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Miners shine at league finals |

PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Miners shine at league finals

The harriers from Nevada Union showcased what they are capable of at the Foothill Valley League Cross Country Finals on Wednesday, claiming both the boys and girls individual titles and notching top finishes as a team.

NU’s girls squad placed three in the top-five and five in the top-20 en route to a first place finish as a team. NU’s boys swept the top-three spots and had five in the top-20, finishing second to Placer in a close competition which was settled by tiebreaker.

“There’s this combination of youth and experience on the team,” said NU head coach Kevin Selby. “On the boys side, the top three are juniors and it’s pretty cool to see them sweep the top three spots. Their development over the last few years has been impressive and they’ve carried a heavy load since they were freshman. They’ve essentially been varsity runners since they were freshmen, and they’re guiding our younger guys. So our, five, six, seven, on the boys side are two sophomores and a freshman, so we have youth and experience working together.

“On the girls side, you have a team that has been to the state meet two years in a row, so there’s this expectation that they will be back at the state meet and they’re working hard towards that right now. There’s no guarantees, but they have raised the bar themselves and it paid off.”

Taking home first place in the girls varsity race, and with it the title of league MVP, was NU’s Hannah Tiffany, who finished with a mark of 19 minutes, 43.1 seconds on the 3-mile course at Nevada Union. Tiffany’s time was more than 13 seconds faster than the second place finisher.

“Hannah’s story is awesome,” said Selby, who noted Tiffany suffered a fractured tibula in September. “She cross-trained and kept her fitness up, but she’s only been back running for three weeks. Now she’s rolling.”

Grabbing first place in the boys varsity race was junior distance runner Jake Slade, who completed the 3-mile course in 16:43.1.

“Jake made the commitment in the summer to step up his game, and he’s reaping those benefits now,” said Selby.

Slade’s teammates Antonio Valenti (16:49.1) and Travis Selby (16:49.9) weren’t far behind him, taking second and third place respectively.

Other NU varsity boys in the top-20 of the 86 runner field were Ryan Morgan (18:03) in 18th, and T.J. Parnow (18:05.4) in 19th.

Earning top-10 finishes for NU’s girls team were Sephora Wontor (20:19.4) in fourth, Megan Schreck (20:27.1) in fifth and Mackenzie Morgan (20:41.1) in seventh. Top-20 finishers for NU included Alma Ramirez (22:10.2) in 18th and Zoe Keriotis (22:13.3 in 20th.

Next up for the Miners is the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Sub-Section Meet Nov. 9 at the Frogtown Course in Angels Camp.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email or call 530-477-4232.

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