Athlete of the week: Runner Forrest Riley experiences ‘incredible’ season

By Joe Naiman

Forrest Riley could have been the Valley League boys cross country individual champion had he desired to do so, but the Ramona High School senior placed higher-level meets and team interests ahead of his own finish.

As it was, only one other runner was ahead of Riley’s finish at the league meet, Nov. 10 at Guajome Park. Andrew Tellames of Orange Glen had a time of 15:54 on the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course. Riley finished in 16:18.

Forrest Riley competes at a 2011 meet. Sentinel file photo

“He could have won if he went all out, but I told him to take it easy, save it for the next two weeks,” said coach Steve Albanese.

Riley was second throughout the race. The decision of Albanese and Riley not to catch Tellames allowed Riley to save some of his strength for the Nov. 17 CIF San Diego Section meet, where he came in second and qualified for the Nov. 24 state meet.

“We’re focused on the state meet for Forrest,” Albanese said.

Last year Riley was ill but still finished 13th among Division II runners at the section meet. His time of 15:54 at last year’s state meet placed 31st among all Division II runners and 12th among non-seniors.  Riley had a 43rd-place time of 16:03 at the 2010 state meet as a sophomore.

The second Division II finisher both at the 2011 state meet and last year’s section meet was Ramona’s Dylan Blankenbaker.  In 2011, Blankenbaker had a time of 14:52 at the Mt. SAC Invitational to place fifth in the Sweepstakes Division; this year Riley had an identical time and placed fifth.

Riley began the 2012 season by winning his Vaquero Stampede race Sept. 1. He finished second in the senior race and first among CIF San Diego Section runners at the Mt. Carmel/Movin’ Shoes Cross Country Invitational meet Sep. 15. At the Stanford Invitational meet Sept. 29, Riley took ninth both in the seeded race and among all 1,330 runners who competed.

“He’s had an incredible season, and he’s running very similar to what Dylan did last year,” Albanese said.

For his efforts, Riley has been named Ramona Sentinel Athlete of the Week.

Related posts:

  1. Riley finishes fifth at Mt. SAC meet
  2. Bulldog boys qualify for state cross country meet
  3. Athlete of the week: Runner Anna Mazzola finishes first in two consecutive meets
  4. Athlete of the Week: Stidham was prepared for state meet
  5. Boys place eighth at Stanford Invitational

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Nov 20 2012. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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