PREP CROSS COUNTRY: NU girls place 2nd at Section Championships; Jake Slade is runner up in boys race
With a strong plan of attack and the talent to execute it, Nevada Union’s girls cross country team ran down a second place finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships, Saturday in Folsom.
“Strong tactics was key to their performance,” NU head coach Kevin Selby said. “The course at Willow Hill is challenging. It’s difficult to get rhythm because it’s so hilly and narrow … They were in position early and they made themselves difficult to beat with their tactics.”
Competing in Division 3, the Lady Miners’ front runners packed together to place three in the top-seven and finished with four in the top-13. Leading the way was junior Mackenzie Morgan, who finished fifth with a time of 20 minutes, 23.6 seconds on the 5K course. Sophomore Megan Schreck (20:32.6) followed in sixth, junior Sephora Wontor (20:35.1) was seventh and senior Hannah Tiffany (21:06) placed 13th. Rounding out the NU scorers was freshman Zoe Keriotis (22:20.4) in 33rd.
By finishing in the top-three as a team, the Lady Miners qualified for the CIF State Championships for the third straight season.
“They got out well, and got the job done,” said Selby.
Del Oro swept the top three spots in D3 and took first place as a team. Sophomore Riley Chamberlain (18:47.4) was first overall.
NU’s Jake Slade will also be making the trip to the State Championships. The junior qualified as an individual after a second place finish in the boys D3 race. Slade ran the 5K course in a time of 16:48.9.
“Jake got after it and continued his strong season,” said Selby. “He ran solid, start to finish.”
NU’s Antonio Valenti (17:09.4) was the next Miner to cross the finish line, taking ninth in the 77-runner field.
As a team, the boys finished fifth overall, narrowly missing out on group trip to the state meet.
Merced’s Cole McKain (16:22.3) took first in the D3 race. East Union placed four runners in the top-18 and won the team title.
Nevada Union runners also fared well at the lower levels as both the girls junior varsity team and boys freshman squad won their respective races. Leading the way for NU in the girls D3 JV race was Autum Legge, who took first place in a time of 22:50.1. In the boys D3 freshman contest, NU had five runners place in the top-22 to claim the team victory. Leading the way was Ben Brott in seventh and Conner Drew in ninth.
“We have some good up and comers, who will surely play a role at the varsity level in the very near future,” said Selby.
The girls varsity team and Slade will now turn their attention to the CIF State Cross Country Championships which are set for Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4232.
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