Riley awarded ‘Most Valuable Runner’ at cross country banquet
By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School senior Forrest Riley earned the Most Valuable Runner award at the Bulldog boys cross country team post-season banquet.
“He was our top runner in every race during the entire season,” said coach Steve Albanese.
Riley’s only 2012 race in which he wasn’t the first Ramona harrier across the finish line was the Oct. 4 dual meet against Mission Vista, where Ramona’s top five finishers ran as a pack and Max Edwards was the first Bulldog to cross the finish line while Riley was the third of four runners with identical times. Riley was third among all Division II runners at the Nov. 24 state meet, and was the only San Diego Section runner to qualify for the Nike Nationals the following week.
The Dec. 11 banquet at Olive Peirce Middle School featured awards, dinner and a slide show. Some of the runners’ families provided photos from birth through 12th grade that were used in the slideshow. Albanese also handed out varsity letters and CIF patches.
The 110 Percent Award was taken home by senior Tristan Stidham.
“Tristan is the kind of athlete that every coach wants because he’s willing to go above and beyond, in cross country to go the extra mile and make sure he’s at his best when the race comes,” Albanese said.
Stidham and senior Cory Thomas were given Captains’ Awards at the banquet. Thomas also received the Bulldog Award for an athlete who exemplifies the best in all aspects of life.
“Cory was a great captain and a great leader this year and also, like Tristan, led by example and had a great work ethic,” Albanese said.
Teams that finish first or second at the CIF meet are allowed a CIF Sportsmanship Award for one runner. Albanese gave that award to senior Josh Spieker.
“Josh is probably the most respectful kid that I have coached in my four years at Ramona,” Albanese said. “He respects me as coach and he also respects his teammates.”
Riley, Spieker, and Thomas were also given four-year runner awards. There were no separate awards for Ramona’s junior varsity runners, but freshman Joey Jauregui was given the team’s Rookie of the Year award.
“Joey had a great season from beginning to end. He made so many improvements, and I see a lot of potential in him,” Albanese said.
- Bulldog boys honored at cross country banquet
- Athlete of the week: Runner Forrest Riley experiences ‘incredible’ season
- Riley takes 3rd in state cross country meet, qualifies for Nike Nationals
- Bulldog boys qualify for state cross country meet
- Girls cross country closes season with banquet
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