Girls sweep cross country tri-meet
Ramona High School’s cross country teams concluded the regular season with a tri-meet Nov. 7 at the Ramona Oaks Course that saw the Bulldog girls sweep Valley Center and San Marcos while Ramona’s boys split their meets with the Jaguars and Knights.
The results of the meets gave both Ramona varsity teams 4-2 records in league dual meets, although the league meet Saturday at Kit Carson Park carries greater weighting for the final league standings.
“It either jumps you up or jumps you down,” Coach Steve Emery said of the league meet.
Ramona’s varsity girls earned a 23-34 win over Valley Center and a 19-41 victory against San Marcos. The varsity boys lost 20-37 to Valley Center while prevailing 20-41 over the Knights.
In a tri-meet, runners from all three teams race together and each team is scored against each of the other teams as if those two teams were engaged in a dual meet. In a cross country dual meet, the positions of the first five finishers for each team are added to determine the team score.
While a team’s sixth and seventh finishers are not scored, if they finish ahead of any of the other team’s top five runners their places would add positions to the opponents’ score.
The first three girls across the finish line were Ramona runners. Chelsey Cortez had a time of 16:36 on the 2.53-mile course, Lauren Cortez finished in 16:44, and Lindsey Spieker posted a time of 16:57.
“They worked real well with each other,” Emery said. “Brittany (Balcom) was up with them at the beginning, but the shin splints are hurting her.”
Four Valley Center runners and two San Marcos runners crossed the finish line before Ashley Duck reached the tape at 17:34 and Chelsea Maurer became Ramona’s final scored runner at 17:40.
Balcom, whose shin splints kept her out of the previous week’s meet against Oceanside, was able to add positions to the opposing runners by finishing at 18:06, and Tessa Balcom finished with a time of 18:26.
The boys race was won by Valley Center’s David MacFarlane at 15:46, and Cameron Avilez’s time of 15:53 gave the Jaguars the first two runners across the finish line. Paul Reynolds placed third at 16:00, and two other Valley Center runners along with San Marcos top finisher Michael Hansen had faster times than the 16:34 of Ramona’s Chance Varnardo-Richardson.
Dylan Blankenbaker, who pulled a muscle at the Southern California Invitational on Oct. 18 and did not finish that race, returned to the varsity for the first time since the injury and placed eighth overall at 16:47.
“Got Dylan back and he’s fitting right in there,” Emery said. “He’s exactly where he needs to be.”
Nathan Morgan’s time of 17:57 was 10th overall, and Chris Fabian was Ramona’s final scored runner at 17:07. Fabian has had a respiratory illness and a pulled hamstring this season and had not run since Oct. 10.
“We definitely need him there,” Emery said. “I was just very excited about Dylan and Chris. That’s great going into league having those guys available.”
The separation of 1:04 between the top five Ramona girls and 1:06 among the first five Ramona boys was a key to the Bulldogs’ success in their three victories.
“That’s what we want,” Emery said. “That’s how you win. You have those kids up there.”
Max Hughes was Ramona’s sixth finisher at 17:10, and Tanner Perfect ran the course in 17:15.
In the girls JV race, Ramona’s Anna Phillips posted the top overall time at 19:05. Each team can enter 12 runners at the league finals, and Emery plans to utilize Phillips on the varsity Saturday.
- Cross country girls win South Bay Invite
- Cross country win evens girls’ record
- Boys cross country earns second
- Olive Peirce hosts cross country meet at Dos Picos
- Running together helps boys beat Pirates
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